A Senate committee inquiry into the destruction of the Juukan Gorge rock shelter in Western Australia’s Pilbara Region has recommended new, far-reaching federal legislation to protect cultural heritage.

Committee chair Warren Entsch said that rather than three or four different portfolio’s that have part responsibility – there should be just one which is responsible.

One of the first recommendations that we put up… there needs to be overarching Commonwealth legislation because every state and territory is different but there needs to be a go-to place that overrides everything else!

Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia chair and Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch. Picture: Supplied

“Most people, including myself wasn’t aware to the extent of the destruction and the ease of the destruction that was occurring.”

Committee Chair Warren Entsch.

“What happened at Juukan was wrong and we are determined to ensure that the destruction of a heritage site of such exceptional archaeological and cultural significance never occurs again at a Rio Tinto operation.” – Rio Tinto chairman Simon Thompson.

Speaking on CAAMA Radio- Mr Entsch said that while “he was amazed at the level of destruction of the cultural site that was done legally and with full government sanction” and people globally had demanded better cultural protection into the future.

Listen to the full interview with Committee chair Warren Entsch and Paul Wiles here: