Prime Minister Morrison should order a Royal Commission into the destruction of the globally-significant Juukan Gorge Aboriginal rock shelters in the Pilbara, former Greens leader Bob Brown said today.
“The fact that both the federal and Western Australian ministers charged with responsibility for Aboriginal culture and well-being knew that Rio Tinto was about to dynamite the 46,000-year-old shelters, but did not stop it, is a national tragedy,” Brown said.
“There are many more ancient Aboriginal sites threatened, from the Tarkine to the Galilee Basin to Karratha, and the destruction will continue while ever Indigenous communities can be bought off, split, worn down or deceived by corporations or individuals putting dollars ahead of the most ancient spiritual places in Australia.”
“The federal legislation is a toothless joke. It needs to have serious penalties, including jail, for executives and others who destroy or connive to destroy such sites.”