Written on the 22 November 2016


Yawuru  CEO,  Peter  Yu  says  confusion  over  recently  published  notifications  for  an  application  to  register Aboriginal  heritage  sites  in  the  Broome  area  highlights  the  critical  importance  for  Yawuru,  the  State
Government and the Shire of Broome to agree on a transparent and workable process to protect Aboriginal heritage in the Broome region while creating stability and certainity for investment in the town.

Mr Yu said, "While Yawuru appreciate the legal and technical reasons that have caused the reassessment of heritage sites,  including the  Song Cycle from Coulomb Point on the Dampier Peninsula through to the town
of Broome  the processes adopted by the Department of Aboriginal Affairs  is flawed and ill thought out and is  not conducive to building good community relationships and a sound investment environment in Broome".
For  many  years  matters  concerning  Aboriginal  heritage  protection  in  Broome  have  been  a  source  of community  conflict  and  distrust  which  has  had  negative  social  and  economic  impacts  on  the  whole
community. The tragedy of this is that  Yawuru and other Aboriginal people do not feel that their cultural heritage is securely protected.

There remains a general environment of suspicion and distrust about Aboriginal heritage protection that is occasionally fanned by mischievous media reporting.

The Yawuru Native Title Global Agreement 2010 negotiated between Yawuru, the Shire of Broome and the State Government signalled the importance of having a framework for a heritage protection in Broome that
would  be  transparent  and  provide  certainty  for  all  parties.  From  this  Agreement,  Yawuru  was  to  be recognised as the primary cultural authority within the Yawuru Determination area. This has yet to happen.
The  central  issue  is  that  there  are  two  Aboriginal  heritage  protection  regimes  that  are  operating independently. One recognises the Yawuru native title holders as the point of Aboriginal cultural autho rity
supported by a Federal Court ruling and a formal agreement under the Native Title Act between Yawuru, the State  Government  and  the  Shire  of  Broome.  The  other  comes  under  the  State  Aboriginal  Heritage  Act
administered by DAA.

The two regimes operate independently of each other with DAA operating as a law unto itself. It's  a recipe for dysfunction and appalling planning which is highlighted in this case. 

Mr Yu said  "the whole of the Broome must have confidence in an agreed heritage protection  scheme that provides  certainty  for  all  parties.  A  secure  and  respected  Aboriginal  heritage  regime  is  fundamentally
important to Broome's economy and social cohesion of which Yawuru are a primary stakeholder.

Mr Yu said while he understands the anxiety that this application has caused, "it is important that we proceed with a sense of calm to resolving this issue. I have confidence that current discussions taking place between
Yawuru, the Shire and the State Government will lead to a vastly improved system of protecting  Aboriginal heritage  in  Broome while providing  certainty  and  creating  an  attractive  investment environment  for  the
future of the town and region."

Source: Nyamba Buru Yawuru media release

Upcoming Events

Latest news

Matso's Acquired by Gage Roads Brewing

The Peirson-Jones family are delighted to announce that we have agreed to sell Matso's Broome Brewery (Matso's) to Gage Roads Brewing Co (ASX:GRB), one of Australia's leading independent craft brewers. The agreement will see the Matso's range become an integral part of Gage Roads' portfolio of well-known craft beers an...

Read More

Articles via RSS rss

Sign Up for the latest news & events

Does your business attract, recruit and retain staff by offering employment or work experience to young Aboriginal employees?
CLICK HERE to become a Working Together Employer of Choice.



We are located at:

6 Napier Tce
(behind the Westpac bank)
WA 6725

Chamber office hours

Monday: 10am - 3pm
Tuesday: 10am - 2pm
Wednesday: 10am - 3pm
Thursday: 10am - 2pm
Friday: 10am - 2pm

Please ring for an appointment


(08) 9193 5553

After Hours

0410 967 509