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We respect Cultural Heritage and the communities in which we work. Our priority is to ensure we avoid or minimise harm to Cultural Heritage when acquiring easements or land to build our transmission assets.
We actively consult with Aboriginal communities and their representatives and other community groups to identify and manage significant Cultural Heritage areas and objects, as well as places of historical significance to Queensland’s past.
As part of this consultation, we’re required to meet various obligations including those outlined in the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003, the Queensland Heritage Act 1992, and Federal Cultural Heritage legislation.
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage refers to a significant area or object that holds archaeological or historic evidence of occupation, or is of particular significance to Aboriginal people. Some Aboriginal Cultural Heritage items include stone artefact scatters, scarred trees, hearths (fire places), grinding grooves, stone tool quarries, rock shelters, and story places. We work with Aboriginal people or Traditional Owners to develop and implement a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) or agreements for Powerlink construction projects across Queensland. This can include working with Traditional Owners and archaeologists to identify significant areas, objects and places and developing specific recommendations for particular areas.
A recent example of Powerlink's approach to Aboriginal Cultural Heritage was during the development of our Teebar Creek Substation. This substation was identified by the Kabi Kabi people to be a site of significance. Through the CHMP process and engagement with Kabi Kabi elders, an agreement was reached on how to best manage the site to protect the cultural heritage of the site and complete the building work.
(It’s important to note Aboriginal Cultural Heritage is different to ‘Native Title’. Having a site of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage on a property does not mean it is subject to Native Title.)
Historical or Other Cultural Heritage refers to places and artefacts of historical significance post 1788 that are usually not of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage in origin. For instance, a place of significant Historic Cultural Heritage was found during the development of the Abermain Substation. We’re now working with the Ipswich North Rotary Club and the Willis L Haenke Historical Foundation to restore parts of this site. This place contributes to Ipswich’s mining history and is in close proximity to the local Mining Heritage Trail.