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Shire of Toodyay and contractor face $50,000 fine after breaching Aboriginal Heritage Act


The Shire of Toodyay and a contractor have been charged with breaching the Aboriginal Heritage Act, in the first test of the State’s amended heritage laws.

The Shire and the contractor, who could be hit with fines of up to $50,000, have been charged with breaching the laws over work along waterways.

Both the Shire and the contractor are due to face court on February 26 on charges they excavated, damaged, or otherwise altered an Aboriginal site.

The ABC reported the work is believed to have included altering a waterway to prevent erosion.

The charges come after the State Government was forced to scrap its revised Aboriginal heritage laws with landowners and the Opposition raising concerns about the complexity of the laws.

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The laws, which were rewritten following the Rio Tinto destruction of Juukan Gorge caves, were reverted to the original 1972 Cultural Heritage Act, with traditional owners empowered to appeal decisions.

Under the legislation, an individual found in breach of the act could be fined $20,000 and jailed for nine months.

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