In this section

Statement from Town of Port Hedland

Published on Thursday, 22 June 2023 at 1:25:00 PM

Earlier this month the Town of Port Hedland was informed of concerns relating to maintenance work being carried out on a site in the West End of Port Hedland.

The Town regrets to confirm that the work included vegetation maintenance by the Town’s Parks and Gardens team within an Aboriginal heritage site, as part of the Town’s land management responsibilities.  

Investigations into the matter are ongoing, but presently the Town is not aware of any damage to any artefacts on the site. 

The Town wishes to unreservedly apologise to the Kariyarra Aboriginal Corporation, the Kariyarra peoples and the wider Hedland community for the inadvertent error and for any offense caused.

The Town responded to the incident swiftly and has immediately implemented further measures to prevent any future errors of this kind, including new initiatives and processes to support awareness and identification of Aboriginal heritage sites.  

The Town is also working closely with Kariyarra Aboriginal Corporation to explore options for better identification and protection of the disturbed site such as fencing and signage.

Additionally, the Town is taking steps to ensure all staff are aware of their responsibilities under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972, and the new Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021, which comes into force on 1 July 2023. This includes the introduction of due diligence checklists, risk assessments and education sessions.

The Town’s efforts are all part of the challenging task of achieving a delicate balance between ensuring land is properly maintained – for safety and aesthetic purposes – whilst also ensuring any heritage-listed sites are not disturbed.

Back to All News