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Give Traditional Owners the right to say no!

The laws to protect cultural heritage are broken.

As it stands, mining corporations can get away with destroying sacred sites, even when Traditional Owners say no.
rio site
That's why tens and thousands of people around the country have been joining First Nations peoples in their fight to protect country, demanding a new federal Cultural Heritage Act that gives them the right to say no.

Will you sign the petition and help enshrine the decision making of Traditional Owners into law?
In the aftermath of Rio Tinto's destruction Traditional Owners right across the country are exposing the scale of cultural heritage that is at risk - it's clear this is a national problem.

In NSW Traditional Owners are now locked in legal battle against Shenhua Energy, the world's largest thermal coal company, to stop them destroying ancient Aboriginal Artifacts with their open-cut mine.

BHP revealed plans to desecrate up to 40 (they have earmarked 80) 15,000 year old Aboriginal sites to expand its Pilbara mine.

This is a crisis impacting all states across the country, immediate action is needed to prevent further destruction.

This willful destruction has been facilitated through a weakened state and federal Aboriginal Heritage & Native title Acts. For decades governments have amended this legislation to serve mining corporations financial gain. At the same time ignoring First Nations people who are criticising the current legislation for:
  • Not giving traditional owners a right to appeal
  • Being carefully crafted in favour of development interests.
  • Requiring developers to ask permission to destroy sacred sites with approvals routinely granted usually without all of the information.

If agreement is not reached these corporations can then pursue compulsory acquisition.

Now Traditional Owners are concerned that developers will attempt to fast-track the section 18 approvals prior to the implementation of the new legislation.

Will you stand with Traditional Owners and make sure these attacks on Aborignal cultural heritage and sacred country never happens again?

Australia is home to the oldest continuing culture in the world and some of the most significant sites in the world. It is everyone's responsibility to stand up for Aboriginal culture and significant sites.

Stop the Destruction of Aboriginal Sacred Sites

This is how Rio Tinto got away with the desecration of Aboriginal Sacred Sites 👇

Posted by GetUp! on Thursday, 25 June 2020
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Here's what it needs to look like:
  • This new law must be co-designed with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • The law must be a Federal law not a state law to avoid confusion of who has the power
  • Investment in a review of all Aboriginal Heritage areas that would turn into a national register of sacred sites
  • Power for Traditional Owners custodial responsibility for cultural heritage to refuse to permit development impacting on cultural heritage.
  • Harsher penalties for companies who destroy cultural heritage


To the Morrison Government,

We demand a federal Cultural Heritage Act that enshrines the veto rights of Traditional Owners to say no to destruction of sacred sites.

16,500 signatures

We need 8,500 more

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