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Infrastructure and Transport – Aboriginal Heritage

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 6 June 2023

Tags: Aboriginal Heritage, Infrastructure, Transport, State Budget

Ms O'CONNOR - Minister, in the 2020 budget Estimates you and I had a conversation across the table about Aboriginal heritage at Eaglehawk Neck. Thankfully, as a result of that conversation, the very significant heritage was protected and it's quite a nice road down there. Thank you very much.

We understand from the 2010 Kingston bypass report that there's also a significant amount of Aboriginal heritage and we've got the 2010 report here which details Aboriginal heritage, so it is pretty logical to assume there will also be Aboriginal heritage there. There's planned Algona Road roundabout works, but in the survey works listed on the State Growth website put out by Transport Services when it talks about the work schedule, we've got noise monitoring surveys, a traffic count, 3D scanning of the road corridor, test pit drilling at sites but there's no mention of an Aboriginal heritage assessment for those works. Is the department planning to do a survey or just pretending the heritage is not there?

Mr FERGUSON - Thanks, Ms O'Connor, for the question. Denise will assist me with the answer. I can tell you that in August 2021 the department commissioned a consultant to undertake the options analysis and concept design for the Kingston bypass, additional lanes and upgrade of the Algona Road-Channel Highway intersection. In December of that year the department sought community feedback to help identify and analyse possible options. The engagement included seeking public feedback through the use of Social Pinpoint, which works quite well, and also targeted consultation with key stakeholders including Kingborough Council, Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania, Metro Tasmania and active transport user groups. In terms of the particular artefacts and heritage you refer to, I'll pass to Denise to provide further detail.

Ms McINTYRE - If investigation hasn't already been undertaken, we're very much aware of Aboriginal heritage in the whole of that area and so that will be part of the brief for consultants to do that work.

Ms O'CONNOR - Thanks, Ms McIntyre. It's just that I was quite struck by the fact that the Kingston bypass duplication and Algona roundabout upgrade schedule of survey works makes no mention of an Aboriginal heritage survey.

Ms McINTYRE - We'll make sure it's listed.

Ms O'CONNOR - Given the time line here, some of these works are set to be finalised this month. Will that Aboriginal heritage work be undertaken soon?

Ms McINTYRE - I don't have the detail on this specific project but I would be very surprised if Aboriginal heritage isn't being considered as part of this. I will seek some advice from the project team to provide further information to the committee through the Deputy Premier.

Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you. I noted what the minister before said about a preliminary conversation with Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania and that's good, obviously, but what role does Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania play in these kind of roadworks where there's evidence and a record of Aboriginal heritage in the vicinity?

Ms McINTYRE - Aboriginal Heritage is obviously the departmental office that manages the Heritage Council and also manages and provides guidance to developers in terms of investigations required for Aboriginal heritage. My understanding would be that Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania would have been the first point of contact for the project team but we also brief the Heritage Council itself when we're developing up projects.

Ms O'CONNOR - Okay, thanks, Ms McIntyre. Minister, if I could -

Mr FERGUSON - I'm sorry. Just on the earlier question, I feel confident we can have that answer for you during the day.

Ms O'CONNOR - Which answer, sorry?

Mr FERGUSON - To the process that is currently being followed with Aboriginal heritage at the roadworks site.

Ms O'CONNOR - Do you want me to put it on notice?

Mr FERGUSON - No, I don't think you will need to. You can provide it as a question on notice but I believe we can provide the answer today.