PRIMARY DOCUMENTS MINISTER COLLIER’S BACK FLIP
SUMMARY:On 30 June 2011 the Minister responsible for protection of Aboriginal heritage in WA, Mr Peter Collier, gave FMG consent to commence mining in Yindjibarndi country at the Solomon Project, but attached several fundamental conditions, recommended to him by the Aboriginal Cultural Materials Committee (ACMC), which gave some assurance that Yindjibarndi heritage would be properly recorded, registered with the Department of Indigenous Affairs (DIA) and protected.
LINK Original conditions
For as long as these conditions remained FMG could not commence mining activity on the land without first carrying out such cultural heritage surveys.
FMG did not want to comply with these conditions and so applied to the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) seeking an order to have some conditions amended and others deleted.
On 13 December 2011, Minister Collier complied with FMG’s request to delete three crucial conditions that obliged FMG to:
• “Avoid all sites that contain Aboriginal human remains”,
• “clarify the status of heritage places on the Land and identify all heritage values associated with places on the Land”, and
• “provide the Registrar with information on the location and archaeological and ethnographic assessments of all rockshelters and caves located on the Land.”
A comparative Table that clearly shows the ‘before’ and ‘after’ consequences of Minister Collier’s decision is available here: