Communication breakdown on Heritage Act

Concerned Western Australians are being turned away from information sessions for the soon-to-be-proclaimed Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2021, prompting the Federal Member for O’Connor to urge WA Labor to fix its communication breakdown.

“Four information sessions had been planned for my electorate – in Albany, Esperance, Merredin and Kalgoorlie,” O’Connor MHR Rick Wilson said.

“Irregularities surrounded the invitation process for each of those sessions, with each initially being advertised online and subsequently withdrawn from the relevant WA Government website.

“The State secretariat for the sessions told my office that venues had reached full capacity and no more registrations would be taken.”

The Merredin session scheduled for June 19 has since been reinstated on the website after a larger venue was found. But the Esperance, Albany and Kalgoorlie sessions remained taken down from the site:

“For such a controversial piece of legislation with potentially wide-ranging impacts on people’s property rights, this simply is not good enough,” Mr Wilson said.

“I call on the State Government, as a matter of very high priority, to either find bigger venues or run a second session in remaining towns.

“Constituents are calling my office daily wondering why they cannot get a seat at the table.”

Mr Wilson said State Labor should stop taking the people of regional WA for granted.

“An indication of the level of concern in the community is that my office is receiving more calls about this piece of invidious legislation than it is about Federal Labor’s planned Indigenous voice to Parliament,” he said.

“This communication breakdown portrays an utter disregard for the people and businesses of my entirely regional, million-square-kilometre electorate.”

Media contact: Chris Thomson, (08) 9842 2777; [email protected]

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