I can confirm that over the past few of weeks, four members of the Aboriginal Heritage Council have resigned. It is worth noting that all resignations were received prior to the announcement of the Government’s referral to the Federal Government with regard to the tracks in the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Areas.
For the majority of resignations, it appears that the primary concern of outgoing members related to the State Government’s new, more inclusive eligibility policy.
This is very disappointing, as when calling for nominations we explicitly noted that the Government’s new, more inclusive Aboriginal eligibility policy would apply.
I note the hypocritical comments of Ms O’Connor, and point out that she supported our new eligibility policy when it was announced and introduced.
In relation to the Arthur-Pieman tracks, I can confirm that members of the Aboriginal Heritage Council were briefed on our EPBC submission before it was lodged – none of the resigning Members were present at that briefing.
The Council will consider additional members in light of skills and experience and I am confident that the Council will continue to fulfil its statutory role.