Destruction of Juukan Gorge: Law, Mining, and the Protection of Aboriginal Heritage
Hosted by the Law Reform and Social Justice (LRSJ)
On 24 May 2020, Anglo-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto destroyed two 46,000 year old rock shelters at the Juukan Gorge in the Pilbara region of Western Australia – the traditional lands of the Puttu, Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura peoples, for whom these sites were sacred. News of the government-approved destruction attracted international condemnation and national soul searching, as attention turned to the manifest failures of Australia’s heritage protection and land rights regimes.
As we await the findings of the Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia, Professor Peter Veth, Greg McIntyre SC and Dr Virginia Marshall share their views on the adequacy of these legal regimes, and the relationship between the extractive industries, Indigenous communities, and the law.