September 8th, 2012
Kimberley heritage sold out by ‘conspiracy of deceit’
TO understand the Aboriginal heritage concerns of Kimberley law man Joseph Roe, it is necessary to appreciate the cultural meaning of life and death. How ancestral essence flows below the surface of the ground and the worlds are bridged by songs that contain the codes of behaviour fundamental to sustaining the balance and wellbeing of the land and its people.
Roe and other Kimberly law bosses are responsible for keeping their culture alive in an area now targeted by West Australian Premier Colin Barnett and Woodside for a gas hub. So, when they say protection of the area is a matter of life and death, it is easy to dismiss their concerns as histrionic.
But for more than the past three years some of Australia’s most respected Aboriginal heritage lawyers have worked pro bono on Roe’s behalf.
From their Sydney offices, the lawyers have been shocked at what they say has been the contempt with which the West Australian government and Woodside have run roughshod over the state’s heritage laws.