The Northern Australia Committee has commenced an inquiry into the destruction of the Indigenous heritage sites at Juukan Gorge.
The inquiry will examine how the destruction of the caves came about; the processes that failed to protect the site; the impacts on Traditional Owners; and the legislative changes required to prevent such incidents from recurring.
Committee Chair, Warren Entsch, said that it was inconceivable that such a valuable heritage site could be destroyed in complete accordance with the law and without any means for Traditional Owners or their representatives to effectively intervene.
‘The Committee wants to find out how this was allowed to happen and how we will prevent such occurrences in the future. The States and Territories and the Commonwealth have an absolute obligation to preserve our Indigenous heritage for the benefit of all Australians’, Mr Entsch said.
The Committee welcomes submissions from all interested parties. The deadline for submissions is 31 July 2020.
The Committee is due to report on 30 September 2020.
The detailed 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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