Despite having to postpone its planned visit to Western Australia because of difficulties associated with interstate travel and the Western Australian Government’s recent changes to its quarantine directions, the Northern Australia Committee remains determined to pursue its inquiry into the destruction of Indigenous heritage sites at Juukan Gorge.
The Committee will soon commence a new series of remote access public hearings involving a cross section of stakeholders.
Committee Chair, Warren Entsch, assured all stakeholders of the Committee’s resolve to visit Western Australia at the earliest possible date.
‘It is vital for the Committee to see the destruction first hand and share the experience—and the consequences—of this policy failure with the Traditional Owners,’ Mr Entsch said.
‘It is vital that we hear directly from those most affected, the Traditional Owners of this country, and that can only be done in a meaningful way on country.’
In the meantime, the Committee has urged all stakeholders to be aware of the potential consequences of proceeding with actions that could cause irreversible damage to heritage sites.
‘No government and no company wants another Juukan Gorge on its conscience,’ Mr Entsch said.
‘If nothing else, the ongoing damage to Rio Tinto’s reputation should give pause for thought for all concerned.’
Further details of the inquiry, including terms of reference, can be found on the Committee’s website.
Hon Warren Entsch MP, Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia
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