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Mining big’s destruction of sacred Aboriginal caves “inexcusable”: report

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A parliamentary inquiry has known as for Rio Tinto to pay compensation to indigenous Australians after the mining big destroyed sacred caves.

Rio Tinto earlier this yr blew up the 46,000-year-old Juukan Gorge caves in Western Australia’s Pilbara area regardless of beforehand being advised of the positioning’s cultural significance.

The Joint Standing Committee of Northern Australia, which is conducting an inquiry into the incident, on Wednesday tabled its interim report, describing the choice to destroy the rock shelters towards the desires of native indigenous communities as “inexcusable”.

“By no means once more can we permit the destruction, the devastation and the vandalism of cultural websites as has occurred with the Juukan Gorge – by no means once more,” the report mentioned.

“The blast devastated a spot of non-public, neighborhood, nationwide and worldwide significance,” it mentioned. “Rio Tinto’s position on this tragedy is inexcusable … Rio knew the worth of what they have been destroying however blew it up anyway.”

It mentioned that Rio Tinto, the world’s second-largest mining company, “should negotiate a restitution bundle” with the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura (PKKP) peoples and absolutely reconstruct the caves.

Pat Dodson, an indigenous Senator who’s a member of the committee, mentioned that the destruction of the caves was one of many worst avoidable disasters “that has ever occurred in our nation” however that it didn’t happen out of the blue.

“These failures have been symptomatic of the ‘don’t care’ tradition that contaminated Rio Tinto from the highest down,” he advised the Senate.

The report made seven suggestions, calling for motion from Rio Tinto, fellow mining corporations and the West Australian and federal governments.

“The (conventional house owners) confronted an ideal storm, with no assist or safety from wherever,” it mentioned.

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