Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Regina McKenzie’s detailed letters to Minister Matt Canavan ask the hard questions about the proposed Barndioota nuclear waste dump

By ignoring the well-established Commonwealth Government consultation guidelines
(available at www.environment.gov.au/epbc/publications/engage-early), it is our belief that the DIIS has caused significant reputational risk to the Commonwealth of Australia.
Both the Native Title body (ATLA), and the relevant individual custodians for the project area have completely lost faith in the consultation process undertaken by the DIIS. The current program of Aboriginal community engagement for this project has all but collapsed and only non-relevant Aboriginal people remain on the consultative committee.
In particular we note that the EPBC Act recognises the following three key documents as best practice for Aboriginal community engagement in Australia. These documents are particularly relevant to all projects that require approval by the Federal Minister for the Environment under existing EPBC Act processes:
1. Commonwealth of Australia (COFA), 2016. Engage Early – Guidance for Proponents on Best Practice Indigenous Engagement for Environmental Assessments Under the EPBC Act’ (the Guidelines).
2. Australian Heritage Commission (AHC), 2002. Ask First – A Guide to Respecting Indigenous Heritage Places and Values.
3. Australia ICOMOS, 2013. Burra Charter and associated Practice Notes.
Regina McKenzie Letter to Minister the Hon. Matthew Canavan Selection process for a national radioactive waste management facility in South Australia
Submission 107 – Attachment 1 to Submission to Senate
Regina McKenzie
Hawker South Australia
Senator the Hon. Matthew James Canavan
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia
Thursday 8 February 2018
Dear Senator Canavan
Re: Your commitment to protect and not cause harm to Aboriginal Cultural Heritage in the Flinders Ranges
As you may be aware, recent actions undertaken by the environmental consultancy directly engaged by the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) has resulted in harm to a significant Aboriginal site in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia. The identified harm occurred to a previously known Aboriginal site that has been recorded on the Central
Archive of the Register of Aboriginal Sites and Objects that is maintained by the South Australian Government, Department of State Development – Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation (DSD-AAR). The issue of harm by the DIIS and their preferred supplier is being considered as a potential breach of the South Australian Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988, and is pending a formal compliance investigation by DSD-AAR. We add that formal legal
advice is also being sought by the prescribed body corporate of the Native Title body for the Flinders Ranges, the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association (ATLA). Given the likely legal ramifications of this potential breach of the South Australian Aboriginal Heritage Act, we will, for the time being, leave these matters of fact in the hands of the regulatory and judicial systems.
I do wish, however, to acknowledge the Commonwealth Government’s repeated commitment to: (1) protect; and (2) do no harm to the Aboriginal cultural heritage of our region through the investigations and/or implementation of the National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF) proposed project area in Barndioota have given. Additional reasoning in support of each of the following actions is further
articulated in the following pages of this document:
1. The DIIS need to immediately stop the current program of ineffectual, damaging and culturally inappropriate consultation, and work toward a more inclusive program of consultation with relevant Aboriginal parties in accordance with the best practice consultation guidelines of the Commonwealth Government.
2. The DIIS need to cease all activities currently proposed for the NRWMF Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment of the Barndioota project area until adequate consultation has been undertaken with relevant Aboriginal parties; and until such time as suitable cultural and regulatory protocols are developed to protect all investigators, the Aboriginal community and the lands subject to this assessment.
The development of these protocols must be undertaken with the active participation of relevant Aboriginal parties in accordance with the best practice standards identified by the Government of Australia (COFA 2016), and required by the Federal Minister for the Environment for all matters that may be considered under an EPBC referral.
3. The DIIS needs to clearly articulate the statutory nature, intended scope and
proposed sequence of works for the investigation of Aboriginal cultural heritage values for the NRWMF project in Barndioota. All culturally relevant Aboriginal parties need to be actively involved in the development and execution of the intended scope of work for any cultural heritage assessment of our lands and our culture.
4. The DIIS need to officially and publically reprimand the environmental consultancy that has caused harm to our significant cultural area.
5. The DIIS need to prove to us that clear processes are in place to prevent this level of harm from ever reoccurring.
This letter also outlines many of our concerns with the current processes and procedures that are currently being enabled by the DIIS. Ultimately we are prepared to work with the Commonwealth Government to complete the assessment phase of works required for the NRWMF project, but we wish to do this in a culturally and socially appropriate and
responsible manner. If the DIIS continue to act in their disrespectful manner, we ask that you put a stop to their culturally inappropriate actions so that we can begin to concentrate on healing the damage that the DIIS NRWMF project has caused to our community.
This letter seeks to discuss the following key issues:
  • The Commonwealth Government commitment to not harm Aboriginal cultural heritage has failed and requires urgent reparation/damage assessment.
• Aboriginal cultural heritage constraints at the proposed Barndioota project area
cannot be avoided by the NRWMF project.
• Consultation, Relevance and Obligations: How the Department of Industry,
Innovation and Science has repeatedly and categorically failed to meet the
consultation best practice considerations of the Australian Government.
• The environmental assessment process and Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment
context for the Barndioota NRWMF project has not been clearly defined by the
Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.
I look forward to your detailed response to all of the issues detailed in this letter.
Sincerely
Regina McKenzie
Regina McKenzie Letter to Minister the Hon. Matthew Canavan
The Commonwealth Government Commitment to Not Harm Aboriginal Cultural
Heritage
In an email to both ATLA and the VYAC (26 August 2016), Bruce Wilson from the DIIS restated the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to protect the full extent of Aboriginal cultural heritage associated with the Barndioota NRWMF project area. Bruce Wilson noted:
Minister Frydenberg committed that ‘as part of this phase [phase 2], an independent Indigenous heritage assessment will also be undertaken in consultation with Traditional Owners to identify the full extent of heritage at the site and ensure it is protected.’ (emphasis added)
The Government, including Minister Canavan and the Department of Industry,
Innovation and Science, will uphold this commitment.
Minister Canavan sought to strengthen this commitment of his predecessor and of the Commonwealth Government by stating, IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS, that the Australian Government will NOT do anything that would damage Aboriginal heritage. Minister Canavan (28 September 2016) has further reinforced the Government’s position to protect the Aboriginal cultural heritage of the area by providing his own personal guarantee, specifically to relevant Aboriginal people when he said:
I do make a commitment that we will do nothing that fails to protect Aboriginal
Heritage. (emphasis added).
This unequivocal commitment to: (1) not harm; and (2) protect Aboriginal cultural heritage has therefore been repeated numerous times and has been captured in both print and video.
What happens now?
The disturbed site has been known and recorded for quite some time and it is important to note at the outset that a simple search of the DSD-AAR Central Archive would have notified the DIIS of the nature, extent and significance of this site. The statutory site card held by DSD-AAR which is associated to this significant Aboriginal women’s site would have also informed both the DIIS and their consultancy of the relevant Aboriginal people who exercise
custodial rights over this area. It is therefore clear to all and sundry that NO cultural due diligence, and NO statutory risk assessment process was undertaken or implemented by either the preferred supplier or the DIIS prior to the commencement of works in support of the NRWMF project proposed for Barndioota.
This failure of the DIIS and their consultancy to follow established risk assessment processes to protect our heritage is in-line with the departments inability to adhere to established Commonwealth Government consultation guidelines/policy. The complete lack of identification, acknowledgement and support of relevant Aboriginal parties for the NRWMF project has led to a free-for-all, laissez-faire, approach to the cultural heritage management
for this project.
The DIIS has chosen to engage, support and pay a number of non-relevant Aboriginal parties as part of the consultation process for this project. The DIIS has done so despite the repeated warnings of cultural impropriety by people that have been repeatedly identified as having relevant custodial rights and interest in the Barndioota country by both the South
Australian Government and Commonwealth Government.
Unfortunately, the DIIS is continuing to consult with non-relevant Aboriginal people who:
1. have nominated that they do not have a cultural connection to the Country in, or around, the Barndioota area
2. cannot contribute to any assessment of significance for the area
3. are culturally inappropriate for the assessment of cultural heritage matters
4. are gender inappropriate for the majority of the proposed assessment area, and
5. have previously stated that they are not interested in the cultural heritage of the project area but would rather discuss the commercial/economic potential of the NRWMF project.
By ignoring the well-established Commonwealth Government consultation guidelines (available at www.environment.gov.au/epbc/publications/engage-early), it is our belief that the DIIS has caused significant reputational risk to the Commonwealth of Australia. We also believe that if the DIIS is not regulated and held to account, that they, as representatives of the Commonwealth Government, will continue to wreak untold havoc to both our tangible heritage and to the ways that we choose to transmit our cultural knowledge within our very own community.
Will the Federal Minister acknowledge his obligation and commitment to protect and cause no harm to Aboriginal heritage, and choose to regulate the actions of his department (the DIIS) and their preferred suppliers?
Known Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Constraints Associated with the Proposed
Barndioota NRWMF Project Area.
From the outset of our relationship with the DIIS we have maintained that the
Commonwealth Government’s commitment to not cause harm to any Aboriginal cultural heritage will face insurmountable Aboriginal cultural heritage constraints associated with the Barndioota project area. The term insurmountable has never been used lightly in this context, but rather to highlight that every inch of land, water and sky within the nominated
pastoral lease is affected by numerous (at least twelve) ancestral stories that underpin a significant indigenous knowledge system colloquially known as song-lines. We know this because: (1) it is an integral part of our culture and we live it on a daily basis; and (2) we were in the process of translating these Song-lines for the benefit of all Australians prior to the advent of the NRWMF project in the Flinders Ranges. Please note that this cultural translation work has ceased due to the emotional and cultural hardships that we have
experienced since we became involved with the DIIS and the NRWMF project.
As a summary introduction to some of the identified constraints that affect the proposed Barndioota NRWMF project, we provide the following cursory information to acknowledge the complexity of our cultural heritage in this area. We note that the pastoral lease selected for the NRWMF project in Barndioota contains the following Aboriginal cultural heritage constraints that cannot be ignored by the current Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment
proposed by the DIIS, or supported by the statement of commitment from two Ministers that no harm will come to any Aboriginal cultural heritage through the investigations/implementation of the NRWMF project.
The Wallerberdina pastoral lease contains:
• A significant portion of the ONLY ancestral indigenous song/story-line recorded on a statutory government register anywhere in Australia.
• The main protagonist or ‘hero’ of the only recorded story-line, Hookina waterhole.
• A highly significant body of cultural waters, Hookina creek, and its
relevant/associated catchment area.
• Overlap areas for at least twelve known ancestral indigenous song/story-lines.
• The closing terrestrial chapter of the Seven Sisters story-line that is of critical
significance to all culturally sensitive Aboriginal women in Australia.
• The highest density artefact scatter recorded in South Australia to date.
• The highest density of recorded archaeological hearth recorded in South
Australia to date.
• Completely mineralized ancestral human remains which attest to the significant
timeframe of the Aboriginal occupation of the area
We would also add that recent palaeontological investigations (
) in and around the Hookina area have identified a number of significant
Australian megafaunal remains. Dr Camens ) notes that these finds have
considerably expanded the number of extinct marsupials known from the area, and
importantly, have demonstrated that fossils occur in the softer sediments forming the
banks of Hookina Creek (emphasis added).
Dr Camens ( ) further states that the area is of significant palaeontological
value, adding to the established archaeological importance of the area and complementing
the rich indigenous heritage of the Hookina Creek songline.
It is significant to note that: (1) the rare palaeontological specimens/context occurs in the soft sediments forming the banks of Hookina Creek, and by extension, the NRWMF project area;
and (2) that there remains a high probability that these finds will be directly associated with Aboriginal artefacts in the same depositional context. Any scientific evidence of Human and
megafauna interaction would only support our existing ancestral knowledge of extinct megafaunal species, many of which we have names for in our language, and stories of in our culture.
How will the Minister’s statements of commitment serve to protect all of these aspects
of our culture and heritage?
Consultation, Relevance and Obligations:
The DIIS have repeatedly failed to meet the consultation best practice
considerations of the Australian Government.
In regard to the current program of Aboriginal community engagement for the Barndioota
NRWMF project, the DIIS has failed to undertake a program of consultation, with the
relevant Aboriginal parties, in accordance with current Australian best practice standards.
The DIIS:
• has not identified or acknowledged all relevant affected Indigenous peoples,
• has not committed to early engagement of relevant affected Indigenous peoples,
• has not built trust with relevant affected Indigenous people, and/or
• has not demonstrated an appreciation of cultural awareness with, OR of, relevant
affected Indigenous people.
The continued engagement with, and validation of, non-relevant Aboriginal parties is
culturally inappropriate and manifestly detrimental to the social fabric and general well being
of the broader Adnyamathanha community. THIS MUST STOP! The DIIS program of
Aboriginal engagement to-date has contributed to significant levels of depression, anxiety,
animosity and hatred within our close-knit Aboriginal community. The mental health issues
generated by this culturally inappropriate program of consultation will be long lasting, and will
affect our community’s ability to transmit cultural knowledge in a safe and culturally
appropriate manner.
It is sadly ironic to us that the people most affected by this inept program of consultation are
the Aboriginal people who have been considered as cultural knowledge holders, traditional
owners, cultural custodians, and ultimately RELEVANT Aboriginal parties for this part of the
Flinders Ranges. The acknowledgement of our cultural relevance and our ability to
contribute to a relevant assessment of cultural significance is recognised by: (1) the
Commonwealth Government through the establishment of the Yappala Indigenous Protected
Area (IPA); (2) the South Australian Government, Department of State Development –
Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation (DSD-AAR) through the recording of the only state
registered Aboriginal story-line in Australia; and importantly (3) the Federal Court of Australia
through the declaration of Native Title which is currently managed by the Adnyamathanha
Traditional Lands Association (ATLA) as the prescribed body corporate for the people of the
Flinders Ranges.
The complete ineffectiveness of the current consultation framework is highlighted by the
recent engagement of a NSW based heritage consultancy firm by the DIIS. It is important to
note that the DIIS has commercially engaged/commissioned this consultancy against the
wishes of ATLA and other relevant Aboriginal parties. It is further noted that this consultancy
was engaged by the DIIS without a clearly articulated scope of work for the heritage
assessment process, and without supplying evidence of previous work to support their
competency in recording intangible cultural information. As it turns out, it is this very same
consultancy that has subsequently caused harm to one of our highly significant cultural
areas.
Surely it must be obvious that without our informed involvement in this project the DIIS and
all of their contracted specialist will cause further harm to our tangible cultural heritage. And
the blatant disregard of our repeated warnings can now only be defined as desecration.
Without our informed cultural input, we fear that the nature, extent and significance of known
archaeological sites, cultural places and significant ceremonial areas cannot be incorporated
into the assessment process. This will lead to further culturally inappropriate transgressions
such as harm to our physical archaeological sites and further desecration of our belief system by people who should know better – but have chosen to ignore our  recommendations.
Both the Native Title body (ATLA), and the relevant individual custodians for the project area
have completely lost faith in the consultation process undertaken by the DIIS. The current
program of Aboriginal community engagement for this project has all but collapsed and only
non-relevant Aboriginal people remain on the consultative committee. ATLA have formally
advised the heritage consultancy engaged by the DIIS that they are no longer welcome in
the Flinders Ranges, and that ATLA will not participate in the current assessment process.
Meanwhile the DIIS and their NSW based cultural heritage consultancy are persisting with
the development and execution of their ill informed and culturally inappropriate Aboriginal
cultural heritage assessment which includes archaeological pedestrian surveys of the land
and vehicular transect across important cultural places. This process cannot continue
without the informed consent of the relevant Aboriginal parties.
We have been advised that the Commonwealth of Australia has established best practice
guidelines for undertaking Aboriginal community engagement and consultation, and that
these guidelines are particularly relevant to undertaking any Aboriginal cultural heritage
investigations that may be subject to an Environment Protection and Biodiversity
Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC) referral. As relevant Aboriginal parties for this project we are
at a loss to understand why the DIIS has not tabled these documents, or importantly abided
by the principles these documents recognise and advocate.
In particular we note that the EPBC Act recognises the following three key documents as
best practice for Aboriginal community engagement in Australia. These documents are
particularly relevant to all projects that require approval by the Federal Minister for the
Environment under existing EPBC Act processes:
1. Commonwealth of Australia (COFA), 2016. Engage Early – Guidance for Proponents
on Best Practice Indigenous Engagement for Environmental Assessments Under the
EPBC Act’ (the Guidelines).
2. Australian Heritage Commission (AHC), 2002. Ask First – A Guide to Respecting
Indigenous Heritage Places and Values.
3. Australia ICOMOS, 2013. Burra Charter and associated Practice Notes.
As the relevant Aboriginal parties for the Barndioota project area we hope that the DIIS will
seek to reconcile their current consultation processes against those of the Commonwealth
Government, and ultimately work to identify, acknowledge and support all relevant Aboriginal
parties that may be affected by the NWMF project.
We have sought some assistance to understand and summarise the abovementioned
documents, which we have chosen to include in this letter, to highlight the basic
requirements of any Aboriginal community consultation process in Australia, and to note that
these foundational elements of consultation have not been acquitted by the DIIS to date.
A primary and fundamental tenet of ethical cultural heritage management in Australia is a
recognition that all parties concerned with identifying, conserving and managing Aboriginal
cultural heritage should acknowledge, accept and act on the principle that Aboriginal people
are the primary source of information about the value of their heritage, and how this is best
protected and conserved (OEH 2010). The concept of relevance is further articulated in the
Commonwealth Guidelines (COFA 2016:3) which focus on allowing the relevant
Indigenous people to determine the significance of places in accordance with their culture
(emphasis added).
The Ask First (AHC 2002) guidelines provide further guidance for anyone who wishes to
undertake consultation with Indigenous/Aboriginal people. Ask First (AHC 2002:4) defines relevant Indigenous people as both Traditional Owners and other Indigenous people with
interests in a place. Importantly, Ask First (AHC 2002:4) further defines the terms Traditional
Owners and Other Indigenous people with interests as:
Traditional Owners are those people who, through membership in a descent
group or clan, have responsibility for caring for particular country. Traditional
Owners are authorised to speak for country and its heritage. Authorisation to
speak for country and heritage may be as a senior traditional owner, an elder,
or in more recent times, as a registered Native Title claimant.
Extant information is available from reputable sources to help the DIIS
determine who can be considered a Traditional Owner under this definition.
Other Indigenous people with interests are those people who through their
personal or family history of involvement with a particular place have an
interest in its heritage values. Such places could include, but are not limited to,
mission stations, places of Indigenous protest, and areas of land where people
worked. Sometimes these people are described as custodians, but this can
mean different things in different areas of Australia. In some areas custodians
are responsible for looking after places and sometimes the stories and
ceremonies linked to these places. In other areas custodians are Indigenous
people who look after a place on behalf of others.
Extant information is available from reputable sources to help the DIIS
determine who can be considered as an Indigenous Person with Interests in
the project area.
Ask First (AHC 2002:6) also details some key guiding principles for identifying and managing
Aboriginal cultural heritage. Two principles relevant to the current discussion include:
1. that uncertainty about Indigenous heritage values at a place should not be used to
justify activities that might damage or desecrate this heritage; and
2. that negotiating the level of involvement of the relevant Indigenous people is an
important part of the early negotiation process.
Ask First (AHC 2002:8) particularly references the need to identify both Traditional Owners
and Other Indigenous People with Rights and Interests in the area early in the consultation
process. The following Actions are described in the Initial Consultation section of the Ask
Fist guide (AHC 2002:8).
Investigators are advised to:
1. Identify Indigenous people with rights and interests in a place, especially
indigenous people authorised to speak for a place, taking into account that
Indigenous people will have differing degrees of knowledge about heritage places
and their importance (emphasis added),
2. Ensure both men and women with rights and interests in the area are identified
because men and women may be responsible for different heritage places and
values, and
3. Identify Indigenous people who may not necessarily be Traditional Owners but who
have interests in an area so that any effects of the project or activity on the
Indigenous heritage values of places such as mission stations and historic buildings
will be identified.
Finally, it must be added that all Australian best practice guidelines for the identification,
assessment and management of Aboriginal cultural heritage encompasses the four values of
the Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter 2013. A number of authorized Practice Notes have also
been developed to provide guidance on the application of the Burra Charter. The following
Practice Notes are relevant to the current discussion and should be referenced and
acknowledged by the DIIS:
• The Burra Charter and Indigenous Cultural Heritage Management;
• Understanding and Assessing Cultural Significance;
• The Burra Charter and Archaeological Practice; and
• Preparing Studies and Reports: Contractual and Ethical Issues.
The Burra Charter Practice Note for Understanding and Assessing Cultural Significance has
been designed for all practitioners who work with Indigenous communities and Indigenous
cultural heritage places. Important ‘Guidance’ material from this particular Practice Note
states:
Practitioners should always ensure that they consult with the appropriate people to
speak for country (emphasis added). Practitioners should seek to gather
information from a wide range of knowledge-holders, taking account of all kinds of
connections, whether ‘ancestral’, ‘traditional’ or ‘historical’.
• Indigenous people are the relevant knowledge-holders for places of Indigenous
cultural significance. Their traditional knowledge and experience must be
appropriately used and valued in the assessment of places (emphasis added).
• Advice may need to be sought on who are the relevant knowledge holders
(emphasis added).
• Practitioners should work collaboratively with Indigenous people and engage with
the Indigenous knowledge-holders to gain historic, ethnographic and
anthropological data which may be held in a variety of sources including oral, and
visual sources, as well as drawing on and sharing information from other sources
such as published accounts.
! Article 4 of the Burra Charter guides: that Conservation should make use of all the
knowledge, skills and disciplines which can contribute to the study and care of the
place.
Given the information presented above, and in regard to the Aboriginal community
engagement and consultation program undertaken for the NRWMF project by the DIIS, we
acknowledge that:
• The DIIS has failed to adequately identify and acknowledge the cultural custodians of the
lands that they are proposing to impact.
• The DIIS has failed to adequately acknowledge the role of the declared Native Title
group of the lands that they are proposing to impact.
• The DIIS has failed to protect the interests of culturally relevant parties from those that
are seeking financial gain.
• The DIIS has failed to identify, acknowledge and leverage cultural relevance.
• As the proponent and main beneficiary of this project the DIIS cannot ensure the
required level independence in the assessment process if it solely controls the nature
and scope of the proposed Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment. The relevant
Aboriginal parties must have a significant role in developing the nature of any cultural
heritage assessment, and must participate in the execution of an agreed scope of work.
The DIIS need to immediately cease the current program of ineffectual, damaging and
culturally inappropriate consultation.
The DIIS need to work toward a more inclusive, safe and equitable program of consultation
with relevant Aboriginal parties.
The DIIS need to immediately cease all activities/investigations currently proposed for the
NRWMF Barndioota Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment until such time that adequate
consultation has been undertaken with relevant Aboriginal people who can contribute to a
cultural understanding of the project area.
The DIIS need to urgently develop suitable protocols to protect all investigators, the
Aboriginal community and the lands subject to this assessment from any further harm. The
development of these protocols must be undertaken with the active participation of relevant
Aboriginal parties in accordance with the best practice standards identified by the
Commonwealth of Australia (COFA 2016), and required by the Federal Minister for the
Environment for all matters that may be considered under an EPBC referral.
 
How will the DIIS ensure that all future consultation is undertaken in accordance with
the established best practice guidelines of the Commonwealth Government?
 
How will the DIIS restrict its consultation to relevant Aboriginal parties?
 
How will the DIIS protect the cultural interests of the relevant Aboriginal parties?
 
How will the Minister regulate the actions of the DIIS to ensure that no further
emotional harm is done to the culturally relevant Aboriginal people who need to
participate in this project?
 
The Environmental Assessment Context For The NRWMF Project Has Not
Been Clearly Defined by the DIIS.
 
The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) has previously identified that
the proposed NRWMF project will be defined as a controlled action (nuclear action)
under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
Notwithstanding this acknowledgement, the DIIS has not articulated a clear
environmental assessment process for the NRWF project. Of particular relevance, the
DIIS has not made clear any statutory requirements and/or obligations that may exist for
the assessment of Aboriginal cultural heritage values that may affect the NRWMF
project.
The following matters therefore require clarification:
• When will the DIIS refer the matter to the Commonwealth for consideration under the
EPBC Act?
• Is the DIIS seeking to comprehensively understand the Aboriginal cultural heritage
constraints associated with the current NRWMF Barndioota site pre EPBC referral?
• If not, what level of information will be sufficient/required to support the EPBC Act
referral?
• Are all pre-approval technical assessments undertaken prior to the EPBC referral subject
to the laws of South Australia?
• What is the agreed scope of work of the Aboriginal cultural heritage investigation to be
undertaken by the DIIS’ preferred supplier, RPS Australia?
• Has RPS Australia been engaged by the DIIS to complete an Aboriginal cultural heritage
assessment only to support an EPBC referral?
• Is RPS Australia’s involvement in the Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment process
intended to continue post EPBC referral to support: (1) a future Environmental Impact
Study (EIS); and (2) the envisaged EPBC requirement for an Aboriginal cultural heritage
management plan for the project area?
• The EPBC website notes that the Commonwealth and South Australian governments
have previously committed (MoU 13 December 2013) to the establishment of a ‘One-
Stop Shop’ for environmental approvals under the EPBC Act. This Bilateral Agreement,
made under sections 45 and 46 of the EPBC Act, is intended to remove any duplication
in the assessment and approval processes by identifying the South Australian
authorisation processes that may be accredited by the Commonwealth Minister under
section 46 of the EPBC Act.
o Is this Bilateral Agreement relevant?
o If so, how will it affect the assessment of Aboriginal cultural heritage?
o If relevant, what is the role of the South Australian Heritage Act in this
process?
o If relevant, what are the responsibilities of the South Australian Minister for
Aboriginal Affairs in relation to assessments undertaken in accordance with
this Bilateral Agreement?
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June 25, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, Federal nuclear waste dump, politics

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