The Western Australian Premier has announced the state will be reversing its contentious cultural heritage laws which were only introduced last month.

The laws were designed to stop another Juukan Gorge disaster which saw a Rio Tinto mining operation destroying a 46,000-year-old culturally significant cave.

Under the soon to be reversed laws consultation was required with local traditional owners before any land was disturbed.

The laws functioned on a tier structure meaning even local farmers needed to consult.

WA’s premier Roger Cook says the laws “went too far” and needed to be repealed.

“Put simply, the laws went too far, were too prescriptive, too complicated and put unnecessary burdens on Western Australian property owners.”

Local Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Services which were established to negotiate and facilitate land use proposals will also be scrapped.

Mr Cook says the legislation will be replaced with the original 1973 laws with some key amendments.

The amendments include having the newly established Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Council to make recommendations to the Premier.

The WA Premier hopes the amendments will be fair for all parties.

“By reverting to the original 50-year-old legislation, we can reset, end all the confusion, and importantly will strike the right balance to ensure Aboriginal cultural heritage is valued and protected.

It is crucial that we manage Aboriginal cultural heritage in a common sense manner, so we can move forward together as a community.

So we can restore confidence in our cultural heritage systems, strike the right balance and provide the community with a simple and effective system.”

Image Credit: Gnangarra Via Wikimedia Commons