Strengthening Indigenous protections for Sea Country

Catholic Religious Australia released a statement on March 7, 2024 supporting the strengthening of Traditional Owners’ consultative rights when offshore energy projects are proposed.

In their media statement, Calls for Strengthened Protections for Sea Country, Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) acknowledges the cultural, social and economic values of marine components of Country to Traditional Owners. Quoting an example of minimal consultation with Traditional Owners, as found by the Federal Court over an approved new gas project, CRA calls for greater protections to safeguard marine areas.

“The current laws that protect First Nations’ cultural heritage in Australia are a disjointed patchwork of cultural heritage, native title and environmental legislation, spread across local, state, and federal jurisdictions. These are not working cohesively or comprehensively to protect Sea Country,” says CRA President, Peter Jones OSA.

CRA recently made a submission to the Environment and Communications Legislation Committee inquiry into the Protecting the Spirit of Sea Country Bill 2023.

Sr Caroline Vaitkunas RSM
Peace, Ecology and Justice Office
Columban Mission Centre, Essendon

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