Juukan Gorge ‘cop-out’: talk about protecting Aboriginal sites goes curiously quiet in WA

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In the lead-up to the state election, Indigenous heritage has barely been mentioned, despite concerns about new draft laws

It’s a West Australian story, but most of the action took place in London. In May last year, Rio Tinto blew up a 46,000-year-old rockshelter in the Pilbara in order to access an additional $135m worth or iron ore. This week the company’s chairman, Simon Thompson, announced he was standing down, joining four other senior figures, including the former chief executive, who have left the company over the Juukan Gorge disaster.

From an industry perspective, the response has been staggering. Never have so many corporate heads rolled over the destruction of an Aboriginal heritage site.

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