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Monday, 11 August 2003
Page: 13137


Senator Bartlett asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, upon notice, on 5 June 2003:

With reference to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Heritage Protection Act 1984:

(1) On how many occasions have declarations been made under section 9 of the Act in relation to the protection of Aboriginal areas from injury or desecration since: (a) the Act commenced; and (b) the Howard Government came to power in 1996.

(2) On how many occasions have declarations been made under section 10 of the Act in relation to the protection of Aboriginal areas from injury or desecration since: (a) the Act commenced; and (b) the Howard Government came to power in 1996.

(3) On how many occasions have declarations been made under section 12 of the Act in relation to the protection of Aboriginal areas from injury or desecration since: (a) the Act commenced; and (b) the Howard Government came to power in 1996.

(4) Can the Minister provide reasons for his decisions not to issue a declaration under the Act in relation to the applications made by Mr Neville Williams concerning the protection of significant Aboriginal areas in the Lake Cowal district.


Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The Minister for the Environment and Heritage has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) (a) I am aware of 11 declarations, in respect of five different areas, which have been made under section 9 of the Act since the Act commenced.

(b) There have been no declarations made under section 9 of the Act since 1996.

(2) (a) I am aware of five declarations made under section 10 of the Act since the Act commenced. Two declarations were overturned by the Federal Court, one was later withdrawn and two remain in force.

(b) There has been one declaration made under section 10 of the Act since 1996.

(3) (a) I am aware of 6 declarations, in respect of three separate cases, made under section 12 of the Act since the Act commenced.

(b) There have been no declarations made under section 12 of the Act since 1996.

(4) I was not satisfied that the specified area was a significant Aboriginal area within the meaning of the Act.