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Thursday, 14 August 2003
Page: 13640


Senator HILL (Minister for Defence) (12:04 PM) —I am a little puzzled by the question. I would have thought that if the sites were listed under the Tasmanian Aboriginal site protection legislation then they would be protected under that legislation. One of the difficulties in this area is that there is another part of the Indigenous community who either are uncomfortable with or believe it inappropriate to identify the location of sites and therefore, if the state is setting rules for forestry activities and is unaware of the location of Aboriginal heritage sites, it is very difficult for it to take those into account. I cannot see that the Commonwealth would have a list of prospective Indigenous sites as referred to by Senator Brown, but if there is a particular Indigenous site that he believes might be characterised as being of national heritage significance and which is being affected by the regional forest agreement then we would be prepared to have a look at that. There is always the possibility of a renegotiation of aspects of an agreement with the state where, following the agreement, new information comes to light—and new information relating to Indigenous heritage of significance is always treated very seriously.