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Sacred sites are important to the cultural fabric and heritage of the Northern Territory. They are important to all Australians. They are an intrinsic part of a continuing body of practices and beliefs emanating from Aboriginal laws and traditions. Sacred sites give meaning to the natural landscape. They anchor cultural values and spiritual and kin-based relationships in the land.

Aboriginal people know that sacred sites can be dangerous places and can play an important part in their health and well-being. Urban industrial development, construction projects and other ground disturbing works can cause significant harm to sacred sites.

Activities such as cutting down a sacred tree or digging into sacred ground may disturb the Spirit Ancestors, and this may have consequences both for the person causing the disturbance, and for the Aboriginal people who are custodians for that place.