Legislate cultural heritage protections!

Since the strong recommendations of the inquiry into the destruction at Juukan Gorge were handed down, nothing has been done to ensure it never happens again.

The next step is to make sure our demands - the demands of First Nations people from around the country - are in front of decision makers, calling on them to legislate a federal Cultural Heritage Act that protects sacred sites, including giving Traditional Owners the right to veto destruction.

Will you add your name?

TalkBlack is a GetUp! initiative, led by a team of campaigners, organisers, and editors from the Widjabul Wia-bul, Gooreng Gooreng, Wiradjuri, Noongar, Wakka Wakka, Muluridji and Warumungu Nations.
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 a 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 wilful destruction has been facilitated through 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 approvals prior to the implementation of the new legislation.

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

Australia is home to the oldest continuing culture and some of the most significant sites in the world. It is everyone's responsibility to stand up for Aboriginal culture and significant sites.
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 you adopt, in full, the recommendations of the Senate Inquiry into the destruction of Juukan Gorge, and legislate cultural heritage protection!

15,146 signatures

We need 9,854 more

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