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The Forum > Article Comments > Indigenous significance not significant enough > Comments

Indigenous significance not significant enough : Comments

By Andrew Macintosh and Deb Wilkinson, published 13/3/2006

So much for the Prime Ministerís 'progressive spirit of the Enlightenment'.

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Interesting and accurate article Andrew.

John Howard misrepresenting his government's 'actual' policy on an incredibly important issue to this nation? No, surely not, he is just sooooooo honest....

It is high time Indigenous Affairs are given the status they deserve in the realm of political debate in this country. As the authour correctly notes, the protection of Indigenous cultural heritage sites both on a State and Federal level is nothing short of disgraceful. The fact that ten's of thousands of years of history is able to be bulldozed so easily by land clearers or developers is something that consistently shocks me, yet it somehow receives little public acknowledgement. I'm sure if someone wanted to build a new suburb on-top of Sir Donald Bradman's grave the entire country would start kicking and yelling. But when it comes to the desecration of Indigenous burial grounds and sacred sites there is little or no outcry, and the affected peoples are left with no option but costly litigation in the land and environment court. I personally am not proud to live in a country that values its sporting greats over that of its Indigenous peoples. Surely there is a rationale for ensuring we protect the heritage of ALL people in this country, rather than compromising it for economic gain??
Posted by jkenno, Monday, 13 March 2006 11:20:04 AM
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The PM has to be enlightened, as to what the word "progressive" actually means before he could adapt to a "progressive spirit of Enlightenment". Some that has not happened to him in the previous 64 years, so by the law of averages, is unlikely to occur now.
Posted by SHONGA, Monday, 13 March 2006 4:05:38 PM
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Just another typical example of how the conqueror rewrites the history of the conquered.
Posted by Patty Jr. Satanic Feminist, Tuesday, 14 March 2006 5:14:24 AM
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Thank you for your comments on the Burrup Peninsula

The Burrup Peninsula in Western Australia's North West, part of the Dampier Archipelago, is an area of extreme heritage value and contains one of the worlds largest and most significant petroglyph (rock art) galleries.

Woodside Energy is currently considering developing two new parts of the Burrup for its new Pluto Liquid Natural Gas proposal.

The site that Woodside are looking at is Holden Point, a site of significant heritage value containing many hundred petroglyphs.

Woodside have been publicly stating that they are prepared to look at the two options of either Onslow or Burrup whilst they are being encouraged by state government to only use Burrup.

In 1981 Woodside set the Holden point area aside from industrial land-use during the construction phase of their current LNG plant in recognition of its heritage significance.

Rock art and sites, (some petroglyphs could as old as 18,000 years), will have to destroyed or relocated to facilitate this development.

It is known that there may be many genres of rock art and sites on the Burrup. With no inventory having been carried out on rock art or sites it is not possible to state the value of any individual petroglyph or site.

Unfortunately the current attitude is there's lots rock art on the Burrup, estimates range as high as a million petroglyphs, so we loose a few who cares!

Government records, which only commenced after most of the development had taken place, shown the destruction of 350 sites and 4776 carvings, this about 10% of what is currently recorded.

It can be safely assumed that at least as much was destroyed before records were commenced.

The West Australian State Government has allowed for the cultural vandalism of approximately 20% of a site that is older than Stonehenge, Machu Picchu or the Pyramids.

Burrup is the only site in Australia on the World's 100 most endangered heritage sites.

The traditional custodians, by way of Native Title agreements, are precluded from "hindering" any development in this area.

The federal Government must intervene!
Posted by Fossil, Tuesday, 14 March 2006 10:01:00 AM
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