Member of Barker Tony Pasin has warned that the Labor government’s Aboriginal Heritage Reforms could undermine private property rights in the region.
Mr Pasin claimed the reforms would force property owners to undergo expensive mandatory cultural surveys for basic activities such as mending fences or planting trees.
The MPs comment follows the Federal government’s refusal to rule out introducing heritage laws like those of Western Australia’s abandoned Cultural Heritage Act, which, if implemented, would have impacted all of those who own blocks of more than 1100 square metres, requiring landowners to obtain cultural surveys for digging a hole more than 50 centimetres deep or lifting more than 20 kilograms of dirt.
“The Federal Labor Government is refusing to rule out a similar model, and I am deeply concerned for what this means in Barker,” Mr Pasin said.
He said farmers, foresters, and property owners in the regions had a strong record of protecting cultural sites, and Labour needed to use common sense.
“There is genuine fear about what these changes could mean in regional Australia,” Mr Pasin said in a statement.
“Australians want to do the right thing, but Labor’s proposed laws, if modelled on WA’s failed legislation, will only serve to divide us.”
“Albanese needs to be honest with the Australian people about what Labor’s reforms will mean for property owners, including if the government intends to include mandatory cultural surveys as part of the legislation,” Mr Pasin said.
“Common sense has prevailed in WA, but we need the Federal Government to rule out repeating similar laws across the country at a federal level.”
This article appeared in the Naracoorte Community News.