New laws cause mass confusion

Some of the more than 300 angry farmers at last month’s Northam Town Hall meeting.

State refuses to delay start of stronger measures to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage

By Michael Sinclair-Jones

AN ANGRY meeting of more than 300 farmers in Northam last month failed to delay the July 1 start of controversial new laws to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage.

Speakers who objected to the new laws were loudly clapped and cheered in the packed Northam Town Hall by growers from as far away as Esperance and Pingelly.

The changes appear to have been rushed through without adequate public education or any clear indication of how they will affect hundreds of Wheatbelt landholders.

Local Aboriginal representatives say they should have been delayed.

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