Vandalism is the disease. Is astronomy the cure?

Duane Willis Hamacher

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateOther


Aboriginal rock art is under threat. Development and vandalism are eradicating art of the oldest continuous cultures on earth. In places such as Sydney, the destruction of rock art is ever increasing. There is simply not enough money and resources to effectively protect Aboriginal sites from the constant threat of destruction. In some places, loopholes in the legal system allow developers to build on sites with the only requirement being the completion of an archaeological survey. Unfortunately, no further action is required after the survey report is submitted, even if significant cultural value is found at the site. In Tasmania in 2009, a major road works project threatened to destroy thousands of artefacts and Aboriginal sites, including burial sites, but development began before consultations had even completed. Pressure by mining, oil, agriculture, and development lobbies makes it difficult to convince those with the necessary means to protect these sites in the face of development and corporate pressure. 541 permits were approved to destroy or disturb Aboriginal heritage sites between 2005 and 2009. In the face of this issue, it is important that we be vigilant and raise public awareness of this problem.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalIndigenous Science Network Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

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