(QldGovSpin) Coordinators Appointed To Help Protect Indigenous Cultural Heritage

Submitted by Editor on Wed, 21/07/2004 - 18:40

The Queensland Government has appointed three regional Cultural Heritage coordinators across Queensland to manage the implementation of the State's new cultural heritage laws.

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Natural Resources, Mines & Energy, Stephen Robertson
naturalresources@cabinet.qld.gov.au
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20/07/04

Natural Resources Minister Stephen Robertson said the positions formed part of the Beattie Government's $1.5 million budget commitment to managing indigenous cultural heritage.

"The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 and the Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Act 2003, passed by State Parliament last year, is all about affording proper protection to places, areas, and things that are culturally siginificant to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people," he said.

"The Cultural Heritage Coordinators will play a major role in putting these new laws into practice.

"The three appointees are Aboriginal men who will bring a wealth of experience in the area of cultural heritage management to their roles.

"Mr Bob Munn, working in the South West region, and Mr Nigel Baker in the North region will take up their duties over the next three weeks; while Mr Rob Lacey has already started work in the Central West region."

Mr Robertson said the coordinators will be responsible for undertaking searches of the new cultural heritage register for the public.

"For the first time in our history, areas of particular significance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by reason of their traditions and customs can be properly identified and protected in the same way as non-indigenous cultural heritage can be protected through listing on the Queensland Heritage register," he said.

"The new cultural heritage register will cover places, areas and objects of cultural heritage significance, certain human remains and secret and sacred material held in State collections.

"Although anyone can seek to have significant places listed, the traditional owners for the area must be given the opportunity to be involved in the listing process, because they can most accurately assess the significance of their own cultural heritage."

Penalties for harming listed Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage are among the highest in the Australia, with maximum penalties range from fines of up to $750,000 to two years imprisonment.

MEDIA: Penny Fox 3896 3694

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