The West Australian government will formally scrap a controversial new Aboriginal heritage law only 39 days after it was introduced.

Premier Roger Cook announced on Tuesday the government would instead revert back to existing laws with “simple and effective” amendments.

“The laws went too far. They were too prescriptive, too complicated, and placed unnecessary burden on landholders,” Mr Cook said.

Mr Cook said he was “sorry” for the laws which were introduced to ease concerns about the possibility of another Juukan Gorge disaster.

The 2021 Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act took effect on July 1 as a replacement to laws that have existed for 50 years.

It came after then-Premier Mark McGowan committed to completing an overhaul of the 2017 act more than five years ago.

Extensive stakeholder meetings and information sessions attracted more than 1500 people before the Act was finally passed.

Nonetheless, the Act faced pushback from WA’s powerful farming sector, which grappled with onerous new requirements.

More to come.


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By Rahul

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