The Greens say that the resignation of Rio CEO Mr Jacques is a good sign that the company is taking some responsibility for the Juukan Gorge disaster but there needs to be a cultural shift in the entire company and across the mining industry.
This cannot just be a symbolic gesture, there is still a lot of work to do, Greens Senator for Western Australia Senator Rachel Siewert said.
The mining industry in WA has a long history of throwing their weight around in this state and the industry has demonstrated a disregard of First Nations peoples connection to their sacred sites and land as is evidenced by the large number of sites approved for destruction.
The Aboriginal Heritage Act in WA is so weak because of mining industry influence and their agenda of prioritising profit and access to land over all else.
Now it's time for the Federal and State Minister to take some responsibility and change the laws so that we have strong laws which give control to First Nations peoples and ensure true free, prior and informed consent.
Mining companies are on notice they do not have the social license to destroy First Nations peoples’ heritage and culture.
Other companies who have plans to destroy sites should be watching closely and halt their plans.
Nothing will bring back this sacred site but we can ensure that something like this never happens again.
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie; 0418 401 180