Last week’s dynamiting of the 40,000-years-old Aboriginal site in Western Australia is a moment of national shame, former Greens leader Bob Brown said today.
“While some of the world’s most ancient human-made wonders, including a human hair plaited belt and a kangaroo bone tool, were removed from the site, the blasting of the rock shelters has destroyed forever the context in which the people who made them lived. This was a living-place going way back before the last Ice Age.
“Rio Tinto’s vandalism in destroying this part of global heritage deserves the worldwide condemnation it will get, but nothing can recover this lost place for the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura traditional owners. It is no wonder Aboriginal people feel the invasion has not ended - because it hasn’t,” Brown said.
“The most excruciating aspect of this heritage crime is the complicity of the state and federal governments from 2013 until 2020. They all approved. Such government-promoted vandalism of Australia’s human heritage is continuing at a monumental scale as with the creeping desecration of the world’s largest collection of ancient rock carvings at Marujuga, near Karratha, for the convenience and cost-cutting advantage of gas corporations including Woodside.”
“It is high time this nation had Aboriginal heritage protection laws which gave Indigenous people a clear and unequivocal veto on projects which threaten their heritage,” Brown said.