The owner was preparing the site to use his Excavation Permit and just in the nick of time the Federal Government issued a 30 day protection order.
I am writing in relation to the application of 14 September 2022 for an emergency declaration under section 9 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 (Cth) (ATSIHP Act), seeking protection of the former Anglican Holy Trinity ChurchMinister for the Enviroment and Water, The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP 15th November 2022
grounds, in Huskisson, New South Wales (the specified area).
I have carefully considered the application and evidence provided under section 9. I am satisfied that the specified area satisfies the Act’s requirements of being both a ‘significant Aboriginal area’ and ‘under serious and immediate threat of injury or desecration’, as these terms are used under the Act.
I have therefore made an emergency declaration under section 9 of the Act in relation to the specified area. The declaration comes into effect from 5pm AEDT 15 November 2022 until 5pm AEDT 15 December 2022, I may decide the extend the period of this declaration by an additional 30 days.
During the period of effect, a person must not carry out any works within the specified area, including: archaeological investigations including ground scraping; clearing of trees in the area; removal of any objects or structures in the area; or excavation or construction work in the area. Failure to comply with this declaration is an offence that can result in penalties under the ATSIHP Act including imprisonment or fines.
This order was extended to January 19, 2023. The Minister is now considering a more permanent Section 10 Protection Order.
The tireless efforts of the Jerrinja LALC to get the site protected by the Federal Government led to an informed expectation that a more permanent Section 10 Protection Order would be issued in mid-January.
We believe that the developer is now arguing that because he surrendered his DA to relocate the church and his Excavation Permit just before Jan 19 there is no immediate danger to the site in a desperate attempt to avoid the Section 10 protection of a significant Aboriginal area.