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Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority v Alice Springs Sand Supply Pty Ltd

Today the Northern Territory Local Court heard the first mention of alleged breaches of sections 34 and 37 of the Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act 1989 (NT) (“the Act”) by Alice Springs Sand Supply at a sacred site on Yankunytjatjara country, near Kulgera.

Under the Act, work must not be carried out on a sacred site without an Authority Certificate issued by the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority. The Authority consults with Aboriginal custodians to understand what is required to protect sacred sites. Developers must comply with Authority Certificate conditions to ensure the preservation of the Territory’s cultural heritage, for the benefit of all Territorians.

The Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority alleges that Alice Springs Sand Supply worked on a sacred site and breached a condition of their Authority Certificate in doing so.

Chairman of AAPA, Mr Bobby Nunggumajbarr stated,

“Authority Certificates give certainty to developers. They explain how they can work without disturbing a sacred site.

“To have that guidance from custodians dismissed, and to have sites damaged, is absolutely unacceptable.”

The matter is next listed for a directions hearing on Monday, 5 December 2022 at 2.00pm.

 

THE ABORIGINAL AREAS PROTECTION AUTHORITY (AAPA) IS AN INDEPENDENT STATUTORY ORGANISATION ESTABLISHED UNDER THE NORTHERN TERRITORY ABORIGINAL SACRED SITES ACT, AND IS RESPONSIBLE FOR OVERSEEING THE PROTECTION OF ABORIGINAL SACRED SITES ON LAND AND SEA ACROSS THE WHOLE OF AUSTRALIA’S NORTHERN TERRITORY.