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Wednesday, 11 December 2002
Page: 7807


Senator Nettle asked the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice, on 21 October 2002:

(1) Does the Minister accept that under the International Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Genocide, destruction of culture is a form of genocide.

(2) Is the Minister aware that the ongoing destruction of Indigenous culture at Sandon Point, New South Wales, is seen as an act of cultural genocide by senior Indigenous community figures.

(3) What measures will the Minister be taking to ensure that Indigenous culture at Sandon Point is protected in accordance with the Convention.

(4) Will the Minister contact local Indigenous authorities at Sandon Point to investigate their claims of cultural genocide under the terms of the Convention.

(5) Will the Minister take action to apply the provisions of the convention to those responsible for the destruction of Indigenous culture at Sandon Point.

(6) Will the Minister be guided by the principles of Article 13 of the Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, which accords them the right of access in private to their religious and cultural sites.

(7) Is the Minister aware that the rights of access and privacy accorded to Indigenous people under this declaration are being transgressed by a housing development at Sandon Point.

(8) What action will the Minister be taking to investigate the claims that rights accorded to Indigenous people under Article 13 have been denied at Sandon Point.

(9) What actions will the Minister be taking to see that the Burra convention is appropriately applied to Aboriginal sites at Sandon Point.

(10) Will this include contacting local Indigenous authorities at the Sandon Point Aboriginal Tent Embassy.

(11) Is the Minister satisfied that articles 10, 23, 25, 26, and 27 of the Burra Convention have been observed in relation to Aboriginal sites at Sandon Point.

(12) If the Minister is not satisfied that these articles have been observed, what measures do they propose to take to see that they are.


Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The Attorney-General has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

In response to the question asked by Senator Nettle of the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs on 21 October, I wish to state that as the issue does not fall under the Foreign Minister's portfolio responsibility, the answer can be found in the response to Question on Notice 814 provided by the Attorney-General.