Sovereign-Tea Party For The Protection Of Aboriginal Artefacts

October 5, 2005

Sovereign-Tea Party For The Protection Of Aboriginal Artefacts

Over twenty activists gathered outside the Department of Environment and Conservation offices in Sydney this morning calling for the protection of Aboriginal artefacts. Activists were serving sovereign-tea to the public and inviting passers by to engage in discussions over section 90 ‘Consent to Destroy’ permits of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Mia Pepper from the Lake Cowal Action Group and Terrence King of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy Canberra delivered a letter formally requesting a meeting between Lisa Corbyn, Director General of DEC and Wiradjuri Traditional Owner Neville Williams.

“This Government’s secrecy and back door deals with mining companies like Barrick’s gold project at Lake Cowal , happen all the time. It is an offence to the human rights of Aboriginal people and all other Australians,” said Natalie Lowrey from Friends of the Earth.

“Section 90 is another facet of the Australian Government’s continuing and deliberate genocide of Aboriginal people.”

Many members of the public who were engaged with the action were in disbelief that that National Parks and Wildlife Services would have a racially discriminating piece of legislation, such as ’Consent to Destroy’, still in place.

“I want sovereignty not destructivity, consent to destroy is an insult to Australian culture”, said Sod from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy Canberra.

The Lake Cowal Action Group will continue to engage with government bodies and the public over the ‘Consent to Destroy’ permits at Lake Cowal and other sacred sites whose destruction is opposed by Traditional Owners.

For footage and interviews contact

Mia Pepper: 0415 380 808.

Lake Cowal Action Group

Neylan Aykut: 0423 363 416.

Blue Mountains Womens Action Group


MEDIA ALERT

6.00am Wednesday 5 October 2005 

NO MORE CONSENT TO DESTROY 

ACTION @ 8.30am
Department fof Environment and Conservation
59-61 Goulburn Street
Sydney CBD

Activists will be gathering for a Sovereign-tea party ouside the Offices of the Department of Environment and Conservation in Sydney calling for the protection of Aboriginal Artefacts that have been subject to ŒConsent to Destroy¹ under the section 90 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

A letter will be handed to the Director General of the Department of Environment and Conservation, Lisa Corbyn, formally requesting a meeting with Wiradjuiri Traditional Owner, Neville Williams and other Custodians who are affected by this piece of legislation

³We are here in Solidarity with Traditional Owners of the Wiradjuri Nation and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, who have called for the removal of section 90 and other associated sections of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974,¹ said Mia Pepper, from the Lake Cowal Action Group.

³A new Aboriginal Heritage Act has to be drafted as the current legislation is unworkable and racially discriminatory. We are also calling for the artefacts removed from Lake Cowal to be returned to the Traditional Owners¹ said Belle Budden from the Aboriginal Tent Embassy.

NPWS figures from the period of January 2002 to January 2003 show that of the 108 ss 87 and 90 applications applied for that year, only four have been refused or withdrawn. Since that period, further section 90 consents have been issued at Lake Cowal as well as at other sacred sites whose destruction is opposed by Traditional Owners

ŒIt is estimated that in the last thirty years over 1000 consents have been issued to destroy Aboriginal Sites in NSW. It seems that the NPWS, contrary to their legislative obligations to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage, are often the facilitators of its destruction² said Natalie Lowrey from Friends of the Earth

Comments and Interviews available

Mia Pepper, Lake Cowal Action Group
m. 0415 380 808

Natalie Lowrey, National Liason Officer
Friends of the Earth Australia
m. 0431 194 083 _______