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Thursday, 13 September 1984
Page: 955

To the Honourable the President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled. The petition of the undersigned respectfully showeth:

But for a High Court decision narrowly favouring the Federal Government, recently discovered 20,000 years old archaeological cave sites near the Franklin River Tasmania, equal in importance to those in the Vesere Valley in France, would have been destroyed, like a United Kingdom Government unable to stop a Wiltshire authority from clearing Stonehenge for a freeway. The constitutional basis for protecting historical and environmental assets remains weak.

Your petitioners therefore most humbly pray that the Senate in Parliament assembled should request the Government to hold a referendum to amend the constitution so that:

The Federal Government has the duty and a right superior to state and local governments to set above the commercial advantage of one generation, protect and restore, those things we hold in trust for the future-

Being relics, sites, features, areas, wildlife, buildings or things of Aboriginal and other historical, cultural, scientific, aesthetic, ecological or environmental importance;

To care for the maintenance of the balance of nature, to manage land, marine and atmospheric use so as to avoid their degradation and in any other matter which might be seen to be in the same spirit.

In particular to prevent beach mining, preserve the Heritage Areas, The Great Barrier Reef Region at least as originally defined in the 1975 Act and consider its extension into the Torres Strait.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray.

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