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RIO - Rio Tinto News Story

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Last Trade - 03/08/21

Sector
Basic Materials
Size
Large Cap
Market Cap £100.64bn
Enterprise Value £101.91bn
Revenue £42.02bn
Position in Universe 13th / 1799

Australian Aboriginal opposition mounts to new state heritage laws

Wed 23rd June, 2021 5:45am
MELBOURNE, June 23 (Reuters) - Opposition is mounting from
Australian Indigenous groups to draft Western Australian
heritage legislation as groups say there is little change to
regulations that allowed Rio Tinto to destroy culturally and
historically important caves last year. 
    Rio's  RIO.AX  destruction of the 46,000 year old Juukan
Gorge rock shelters led to a leadership overhaul and a national
inquiry into how heritage of the world's oldest living
continuous culture is managed.  
    The Aboriginal Heritage Action Alliance (AHAA), which
represents the state's senior traditional owners, wrote to 
Aboriginal Affairs Minister Stephen Dawson last week to express
their legal and cultural concerns over the draft bill, which is
set to be introduced in the state parliament later this year, it
said.
    Western Australia has been redrafting its 50-year-old
heritage laws which give the state Aboriginal Affairs minister
the ultimate say in whether miners can destroy heritage sites in
a process that does not allow traditional owner groups to
object. 
    "The bill does not represent ‘best practice’ in the field of
cultural heritage management or protection by any form or
measure," the AHAA said in a statement.
    "The bill affords the minister unfettered and unsupervised
power to make decisions in respect of cultural heritage and that
... this contravenes both the objects of the bill and the terms
of UNDRIP."
    UNDRIP is the United Nations regulation on the rights of
Indigenous people. The minister's office had no immediate
comment.
    The group called on the minister to withdraw the bill and
start mediation with traditional owners to design best practice
reform. 
    "The terms and operations of the bill amount to and will
result in large-scale interference, damage and destruction of
areas of cultural heritage for which we, the holders of this
cultural heritage, give no consent, nor, under the terms and
operations of this bill, have the ability to stop."

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)
 ((melanie.burton@thomsonreuters.com Twitter: @MelanieMetals;
+613 9286 1421; Reuters Messaging:
melanie.burton.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))
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