Lake Torrens Update - Investigation starts following Kokatha Appeal

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Lake Torrens Update - Investigation starts following Kokatha Appeal

“The Minister for the Environment (Minister), responsible for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 (Cth) (Act), has received an application made under section 10 of the Act. The application is seeking long term preservation and protection of a significant Aboriginal area being the area known as Lake Torrens, in South Australia. The Minister has appointed me to provide a report to the Minister under paragraph 10(1)(c) of the Act. The application is made by Kahlia Gibson, Chairperson, and Glen Wingfield, Heritage Services Manager, of Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation (KAC) on behalf of the Kokatha People and Aboriginal People who have an interest in the protection of Lake Torrens (Applicant).”

Government Notices Gazette C2021G00689

Congratulations to everyone working so hard to protect Lake Torrens. We are one step closer!

Lake Torrens has always been of great significance to the Kokatha People. 

 For many years Kokatha People have been concerned about drilling that has occurred on Lake Torrens and the impact this has had on their connection and the Tjurkupa associated with Lake Torrens.

It is because of these concerns that Kahlia Gibson, the Chairperson of the Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC (“KAC”) and Glen Wingfield, the Heritage Services Manager of KAC, with the full support of KAC, have made an application under section 9 and 10 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection 1984 (Cth) to protect Lake Torrens from damage and desecration by drilling.

The application under section 9, which was for an emergency declaration, has been withdrawn due to the fact that Kelaray Pty Ltd have ceased drilling on Lake Torrens and are not likely to commence drilling there for at least three months.

The application under section 10, which is an application to permanently protect Lake Torrens from damage and desecration, is proceeding.

KAC is pleased to advise the Federal Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley has agreed to the appointment of a Reporter pursuant to section 10.  The role of the Reporter is to gather evidence for the purpose of presenting a report to the Minister for her consideration on whether or not to protect Lake Torrens.  KAC views this as a major step forward in the protection of Lake Torrens.

KAC acknowledges that Lake Torrens is important to many other Aboriginal people and groups within the region.  Kahlia Gibson and Glen Wingfield have instructed their lawyer, Stephen Kenny of Camatta Lempens to include in their representation to the Reporter any information other groups are prepared to share.

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