A review has found that Indigenous sacred sites in the Northern Territory should be given stronger protection and penalties for their desecration should be increased.

The independent review handed down 39 recommendations and Minister for Local Government Bess Price says work will begin immediately on nine of the most “achievable” recommendations.

The review recommends increasing maximum penalties for breaching sacred sites to bring them in line with the Environmental Offences and Penalties Act, which would see penalties rise from one or two years prison to five.

Northern Land Council chief executive Joe Morrison welcomed the recommendations but says there was a lack of consultation with traditional owners.

(IMAGE: Michael Theis, Flickr – AUDIO: ABC)