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Departmental Media Release

Nambucca Heads Aboriginal heritage protected

  • Date: 09.05.2019
  • Type: Departmental Media Release
  • Author: NSW Department of Planning and Environment

A rare Aboriginal burial site thought to be more than 750 years old will be transferred to Nambucca Shire Council to manage in partnership with the Gumbaynggirr people.

 

Department of Planning and Environment Executive Director Luke Walton said the NSW Government’s purchase and transfer of the site would ensure its protection for years to come.

 

“Aboriginal sites are of immense cultural, scientific, educational and historic interest and provide an important link to present and past culture,” he said.

 

“The NSW Government has purchased property at 21 Riverside Drive, Nambucca Heads following the discovery of ancestral Aboriginal remains on the site.

 

“We’ve made this purchase, under the Coastal Land Protection Scheme, to preserve and manage the site’s Aboriginal heritage and protect it for public access.

 

“We’re working with the local Aboriginal community and Council to ensure proper management, and to protect the ancestral remains at this important site,” he said.

 

Mr Walton said the site is one of very few burial sites to be uncovered in the area.

 

“Ancestral remains and an Aboriginal midden have been discovered on the site which is of enormous significance to the Gumbaynggirr people.

 

“Following investigation by the coroner and DNA analysis it was found the remains are more than 750 years old.

 

“Further bones have been found on the riverside land, and it’s possible the site may contain multiple burials, so it’s vital that we step in to protect it.“

 

This land is an important part of the area’s history and we want to ensure the local Aboriginal community is at the heart of future decisions for the site,” Mr Walton said.

 

The property was purchased under the Coastal Lands Protection Scheme, a long-running NSW Government initiative which has been acquiring coastal land for public access to the coast, scenic value or for environmental protection since 1973.