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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 6 Hansard (19 June) . . Page.. 2189 ..

chance of identifying children at risk, and having done that, being able to get services to them.

Bushfires-Aboriginal cultural sites

(Question No 662)

Mr Smyth

asked the Minister for Community Services, upon notice:

In relation to Aboriginal cultural sites and bushfires:

(1) Has the Minister received a copy of a letter from Ngunnawal elder Don bell raising concerns about the potential loss of Aboriginal cultural sites;

(2) Has your Department started work on compiling a list of significant Aboriginal sites that may have been destroyed or damaged by the bushfires, if so, can any details about sites and damage be provided, if not, why not;

(3) Has the Minister consulted with all relevant groups of Ngunnawal people about this issues; and

(4) Can the Minister advise when work will begin restoring any sites destroyed or damaged by the January 18 firestorm.

Mr Stanhope

: The answers to the member's question are as follows:

Question (1)

I have not received a copy of a letter from Mr Bell regarding concerns over potential loss of Aboriginal Cultural sites.

Question (2)

Yes, Aboriginal art sites in Namadgi National Park have been inspected. One art site (Rendezvous Creek) has been damaged by fire with extensive granite exfoliation, possible smoke damage to artwork and loss of site viewing platform. Expert consultants are documenting the damage and will make conservation recommendations. Other art sites are undamaged.

Aboriginal rock shelter sites in Tidbinbilla have been inspected. Hanging Rock and Birrigai rock shelters have both suffered exfoliation damage and infrastructure at both sites has been destroyed.

Aboriginal rock shelter sites on land managed by ACT Forests have been inspected. These sites are undamaged.

Stone artifact sites are considered at low risk of damage by firm but are vulnerable to damage by fire suppression activities involving the use of heavy machinery. Containment lines cut during the fires were routed to avoid known artifact sites. Surveys of these containment lines for previously unknown artifact sites commenced on 4 March.

To date, all urban fringe containment lines (northwest Belconnen and Tuggeranong) have been surveyed, as have containment lines in northern and eastern Namadgi and

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