Legislative Council: Tuesday, October 31, 2023


Aboriginal Remains, Riverlea Park

The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:59): Supplementary: given the complexity of this particular discovery and the grief that it's causing, is the minister satisfied with the current process and does he intend to make any changes to it?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (14:59): I thank the honourable member for her question. She is right: there is significant complexity, it does cause distress and, within Aboriginal communities when these processes are undertaken and applications are made, there often are very significant and different views.

Certainly, there were amendments—and I just can't remember the year but maybe within the last decade—to try to give Aboriginal people and organisations more of a say at the front of these processes through Aboriginal heritage bodies. We haven't seen many of those established, but with the establishment of more of those it is hoped that Aboriginal people and Aboriginal organisations will have more of a say at an earlier stage in many of these processes under our Aboriginal Heritage Act.