VINCENT council has been issued a caution after carrying out unauthorised works at an Aboriginal heritage site near Banks Reserve.
A Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage investigation found “legislative non-compliance” in path repairs carried out near Windan Bridge, which is named for one of Yellagonga’s wives.
The DPLH tells us the works occurred within an Aboriginal heritage site requiring approval, but “an application for the section 18 consent was not made prior to starting the works”.
Breaching the Aboriginal Heritage Act carries a penalty of $50,000 if it’s deemed someone has excavated, destroyed, damaged, concealed, or altered an Aboriginal site, but in this case the department just issued a caution.
Being on the Swan River foreshore, the works also required approval from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, and Vincent did remember to lodge that application.
Council CEO David MacLennan says “the City of Vincent has a deep and longstanding commitment to respecting Aboriginal culture and heritage.
“In this instance, the city undertook urgent path works (the removal of an existing damaged path and the construction of a new path) adjacent to the Windan Bridge in East Perth.”
He says “the City has scheduled staff training to raise awareness of the approvals process required under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 and a process will be implemented to ensure any required s18 approvals are obtained before works start on Aboriginal Sites”.
By DAVID BELL