CULTURAL HERITAGE MANAGEMENT POLICY
Tri-Star is committed to ensuring its operations meet the duty of care obligations under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003.
To achieve this objective Tri-Star will:
- Require contractors to be acquainted with the cultural conditions prevailing the project area.
- Provide all persons working on site information of responsibilities under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003.
- Provide all persons working on site with awareness information on the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage in the project area.
- Provide induction on the Cultural Heritage Duty of Care Guidelines and the Discovery, Handling and Management of Human Remains Guidelines.
Awareness of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage
All company personnel and contractors should be aware of the types of Aboriginal archaeological items of significance that may be found on a project site:
- Single stone artefacts: Stone artefacts can be found in many landscapes. They may have been used as tools or be part of the artefact manufacturing process.
- Artefacts scatters (denser concentration of artefacts): These occur when the density of artefacts reaches a threshold of size, density or both. These types of sites usually have a variety of artefact types and sizes, often on a variety of raw materials. The artefacts may reflect manufacturing processes, food procurement or preparation, and other activities.
- Procurement sources (quarries): Quarries occur when a particular source of stone is used to generate a number of artefacts. Artefacts at these types of sites are generally numerous, but usually have less relative diversity of types than scatters.
- Hearths: Hearths are small concentrations of heat affected stones or clay nodules that have been used as heat retainers during food cooking.
- Scarred trees: These have been formed through the process of removing bark from trees to use for a variety of purposes including canoes, containers and huts or for steps or holes cut into the trunk of the tree.
The following features are highly likely to have cultural heritage significance:
- Ceremonial places: The material remains of past Aboriginal ceremonial activities come in the form of earthen arrangements or bora grounds and their associated connecting pathways, and stone circles, arrangements and mounds. Indigenous people used these places for ceremonies, including initiation and inter-group gatherings.
- Burials: Pre-contact Aboriginal burials are commonly found in caves and rock shelters, midden deposits and sand dunes. Burial sites are sensitive places of great significance to Indigenous people.
- Rock art: Queensland has a rich and diverse rock art heritage. Rock art sites can include engravings, paintings, stencils and drawings. Paintings, stencils and drawings may have been done for everyday purposes, but are often used for ceremonial and sacred functions. Engravings include designs scratched, pecked or abraded into a rock surface.
- Fish traps and weirs: Fish traps and weirs are stone or wooden constructions designed to capture aquatic animals, predominantly fish. Traps are considered as structures made predominantly from stone to form a type of pen or enclosure. Weirs are constructions designed to block the natural flow of water in creeks, steams and other watercourses.
- Occupation sites: These are places where the material remains of human occupation are found. Such sites contain discarded stone tools, food remains, ochre, charcoal, stone and clay heaths or ovens, shell middens and shell scatters, including deposits found in rock shelters and caves. These deposits may be buried. Other evidence of occupation sites includes the remains of Aboriginal dwellings or “gunyahs”.
- Grinding grooves: Grinding grooves represent the physical evidence of past tool making or food processing activities. They are generally found near water sources. The presence of long thin grooves may indicate where the edges of stone tools were ground. Food processing activities such as seed grinding can leave shallow circular depressions in rock surfaces.
- Contact sites: The material remains of Indigenous participation in the development of Queensland after the arrival of European settlers. These include former or current Aboriginal missions, native mounted police barracks and historical camping sites.
- Wells: Rock wells are reliable water sources that have been altered by Indigenous people for the storage of water. The presence of wells often indicates the location of routes frequently travelled by Indigenous people in the past.
Landscape features, which may also have cultural heritage significance include:
- Rock outcrops;
- Foreshores and coastal dunes;
- Sand hills;
- Areas of biogeographical significance, such as natural wetlands;
- Permanent and semi-permanent waterholes, natural springs;
- Particular types of native vegetation; and
- Some shill and mound formations.
Cultural Heritage Induction
All personnel working on a project site will be inducted to the Cultural Heritage Duty of Care.
Cultural Heritage Duty of Care Procedures
1 Due Diligence
Prior to commencing a project, Tri-Star will conduct cultural heritage searches, surveys and consultation with Aboriginal party where necessary to complete its assessment of Aboriginal cultural heritage significance.
All onsite personnel and contractors will be directed to the location of potentially significant Aboriginal cultural heritage if any. All tracks must be directed around the outer edge of the sites. A temporary fencing would be erected around the location of the sites and no personnel permitted to enter or carry out works in the fenced area.
3 Excavating, relocating, removing or harming a Cultural Heritage Find
Do not proceed any activity that will excavate, relocate, remove or harm items of Aboriginal cultural heritage. If at any time during the activity, it is necessary to excavate, relocate, remove or harm a cultural heritage item, the activity must be ceased immediately. The find must be reported to the site supervisor immediately.
4 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander human remains
In all cases when human remains are located, this must be reported to the nearest police as soon as possible. The Police or Coroner must be advised of the presence of any human remains. An appropriate officer or officer will then establish the area of discovery as a potential crime scene and are responsible for preserving and securing the area. It is an offence to interfere with human remains, whether buried or not.