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Parks Australia charged with damage to sacred site in Kakadu national park

Parks Australia charged with damage to sacred site in Kakadu national park
September 15, 2020

Parks Australia, which manages the world-heritage listed Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, has been charged under the state’s Sacred Sites Act with damaging an area near the spectacular Gunlom Falls, one of the region’s most popular attractions.

The Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority alleges that Parks Australia built a walking track on a sacred site at Gunlom “without permission, close to a ceremonial feature of the sacred site that is restricted according to Aboriginal tradition”.

If convicted, Parks Australia will face a maximum fine of $314,000.

Commenting on the matter the Authority’s Chairman, Bobby Nunggumarjbarr told the ABC “it is good that AAPA was able to listen to the concerns of the traditional owners and do a thorough investigation

“These things have happened in the past, but we really need to work together to make sure things happen in the way that the traditional owners want them to.

“I want to make sure all the sacred sites are protected in the future for the benefits of the traditional owners and the custodians and all the visitors.”

In July, a longstanding feud between Parks Australia executives and the Kakadu board of management led to a vote of no confidence in senior management by the board and traditional owners, who said the relationship was “broken” and “irretrievable”.

The board and rangers also raised concerns about a 2019 helicopter crash in which three employees were injured, which is currently being investigated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

Traditional owners had major concerns about the damage at Gunlom Falls, one of the most popular and beautiful attractions in the park.

Subsequently, James Findlay, Director of Parks Australia, resigned after less than two years in the role.

Image: Gunlom Falls.

Related Articles

28th August 2020 - Parks Australia Director James Findlay resigns after Kakadu traditional owners call for sacking

12th July 2020 - Federal Government to provide $233 million backing for tourism in national parks

10th July 2020 - Western Australian Parks and Wildlife Service manager demoted over African hunting images

8th July 2020 - South Australians encouraged to explore the state’s parks

6th July 2020 - Traditional owners in Kakadu National Park call for resignation of Parks Australia executives

24th June 2020 - Parks and Leisure Australia salutes parks and their workers with green lighting initiative

1st June 2020 - Victorian national parks closed after social distancing breaches

6th May 2020 - Tourism businesses in Commonwealth National Parks to receive financial relief

5th November 2019 - Parks Australia proposes rise in entry fees to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

28th October 2019 - Parks Australia launches new destination branding for Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

21st June 2019 - Parks Australia’s management of Federal protected areas slammed in National Audit Office report

31st October 2017 - Parks Australia looks to appoint Kakadu Park Manager

22nd March 2016 - Parks Australia looks to develop ecotourism concepts on Christmas Island

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