Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Environment Matters

Local Anthropologist Raises Number Concerns With Perth Scarp Mining Expansion Process at Red Hill

Local Anthopologist has raised a number of issues with the Red Hill expansion.
 
"Is the wool once again being pulled over our eyes by Local and State government with regards to approving the destruction of ancient and unique Aboriginal heritage?  
 
It has just been brought to my attention that the City of Swan is meeting on 12th December 2012 to approve Hanson's Quarry Extractive Industry Licence for the next 20 years.
 
It looks like it may be a fait accompli even though 241 objections were received. 
 
In granting approval, the City of Swan states that all Ministerial conditions will be duly observed.
 
However, the Ministerial conditions relating to Aboriginal heritage and its destruction are not specified.
 
Where are they? And what was the decision made by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs?
 
This seems to have been omitted, if indeed there ever was a statement.
 
This brings us to the question of a traditional campsite which is in the way of the quarry.
 
This has been rated as 'highly significant' by consulting archaeologists because it includes a number of  grinding stones.
 
Why is the City of Swan allowing this site to be destroyed?  Does the City know about it?
 
Has the Department of Indigenous Affairs (DIA) or the Minister for Indigenous Affairs notified the City of Swan that the Red Hill area contains a unique site complex including habitational, ceremonial and mythological sites, all of which are registered at the DIA?
 
By permitting the quarry expansion, this will not only destroy the scientific and dateable context of the site complex but will obliterate its integrity and cultural significance. 
 
Why destroy the only surviving evidence of pre-contact Nyoongar habitation of the Red Hill area, especially when archaeologists have mostly assumed to this day that the Darling Scarp was not inhabited by Nyoongar people? 
 
Why are archaeologists from tertiary institutions, such as the University of Western Australia, not given permission to investigate the unique archaeological significance of this site complex? 
 
So why is the City of Swan allowing the Darling escarpment, or Katta Mordo as it is traditionally known, which forms part of an ancient mythological landscape, to be desecrated by hard rock quarrying?
 
Have we not been through similar destruction of the Darling Range in the 1960's and 1970's with blue metal quarrying?  It seems that we never learn.'
 
Ken Macintyre
Toodyay

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