Federal Labor is calling on the Morrison Government to urgently commence fair and appropriate negotiations to resolve the impacts on first nations cultural heritage at the Gunlom site in the Kakadu National Park.
The legal case involving federal agency Parks Australia which relates to an alleged violation of the site despite the express directions of Traditional Owners is extremely serious. The Government needs to publicly address this matter, and take proper steps to resolve it in a respectful and appropriate manner.
The negotiations should be with the Traditional Owners, via the Northern Land Council, in a setting most appropriate to resolve such matters.
In doing so the Government must take all reasonable steps to consider the requests being put forward by Traditional Owners with a focus on remedying any negative consequences caused by the Government and their agencies.
The time and resources required from a drawn-out legal case will not achieve any value to resolving this matter. The Minister should show some leadership and invest her energy in addressing the outcomes that traditional owners want to see.
The Morrison Government’s management of Australia’s precious World Heritage listed Kakadu - is a mess. Turmoil, mismanagement, environmental degradation and neglect are at the heart of the Morrison Government’s failures in Kakadu. In the light of the atrocious site destruction that occurred at Juukan Gorge, it is imperative that the Morrison l Government set itself a high bar for how to maximise protection of nationally significant cultural heritage sites.