Greens: Roe 8 Aboriginal heritage approval invalid

The Greens say approval under the Aboriginal Heritage Act to build Roe 8 through a registered site in the Beeliar Wetlands should be invalidated following the Greens’ uncovering serious irregularities in the decision-making process.

“The Greens have confirmed that the Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee recommended against Main Roads’ Section 18 application to disturb the registered site but the ACMC was later asked to reconsider its decision, at which point it agreed to the application,” Greens South Metropolitan MLC Lynn MacLaren said.

“The explanation given by the Minister for this – an elapse of time and supposed new archaeological evidence – does not hold water.

“The site is registered under the Act for its ethnographic significance, not its archaeological significance, and under the Act,  the presence or absence of archaeological evidence makes no difference to the protected status of a ethnographic site.

“In other words, the site is highly significant to Nyoongars as the birthplace of the Waugyl. You could send 200 archaeologists to the site and they still would not find a Waugyl.

“Greens have the February 2013 and June 2015 ACMC meeting minutes. These show that it was agreed at the February 2013 meeting that a briefing note would be sent to Minister Collier of the ACMC’s decision to decline the application.

“When I asked Minister Collier in Parliament about whether he knew of the ACMC’s February 2013 decision he claimed he didn’t.

“Minister Collier needs to immediately explain how these decisions were made and by whom, and if he can’t, then there must be an independent inquiry.

 “Unit then, approval for Roe 8 under the Aboriginal Heritage Act must be considered invalid."