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Heritage sites under threat as Environment Minister continues to ignore pleas for help

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 27 Jul 2011

Aggressive land clearing by Woodside is continuing to endanger important Aboriginal heritage at James Price Point, as desperate locals wait for the Environment Minister to make a decision on a Section 9 emergency application made last week.

“Aerial photos show the extent of the clearing that has already occurred. Locals have turned to the Federal government for protection under the Heritage Act, but there’s silence from Canberra. If the application has reached the Minister’s desk, why isn’t he making a decision?” Senator Rachel Siewert, Greens Spokesperson on the Kimberley and Aboriginal Issues said today.

“To speed up the process and stop any further possible damage from occurring, I have written to the Minister, asking for an update on the progress of the application by local law man Joseph Roe.

"An application for an emergency intervention is necessary, because large tracts of land are being cleared before the final determination of the gas hub proposed for James Price Point has been made,” added Senator Siewert.

Earlier this month, peaceful protestors, including elderly indigenous women and local business owners, were forcibly removed from the site to allow the clearing work to continue.

“This is not the time for long-winded bureaucracy. Australian heritage is at risk. I call on the Minister to make a swift decision about the Section 9 emergency application and provide protection for this incredibly important area,” Senator Siewert concluded.

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