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National Native Title Council welcomes federal funding to protect South Australian heritage sites

Emma Ruben -

The National Native Title Council have called the funding to restore and preserve cultural sites in South Australia, a "welcome" investment.

The federal government has announced a sum of $720,000 would be dedicated to support action to restore and preserve some of Australia's oldest cultural heritage sites in South Australia.

Minister for the Environment and Water, Tanya Plibersek noted $400,000 will be dedicated to protect and conserve Koonalda Cave in partnership with local Aboriginal people.

It comes a few months after ancient cave art in Koonalda Cave in South Australia was deliberately vandalised in December of 2022.

National Native Title Council chair and co-chair of the First National Heritage Protection Alliance Kado Muir said this is a welcome investment given the "desecration of the Koonalda Cave in December last year".

"Given the recent state government passing the Voice to Parliament Bill in South Australia, we would like to see the state government invest more in the protection of cultural heritage, especially in significant places such Koonalda Caves," Mr Muir said.

"This is part of our collective cultural heritage that enriches our nation.

"Federal and state government investment in supporting Traditional Owners who look after their country is an important part of our national identity."

South Australian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Kyam Maher said it is pivotal these sites be protected.

"We are constantly surrounded by evidence and reminders of the oldest living culture on the planet," Mr Maher said.

"South Australia is home to many places of rich cultural heritage sites of particular importance to Aboriginal communities.

"It is crucial that these important places are protected and the project at Koonalda Cave funded by the Australian Heritage Grants program will provide meaningful action."

An additional two South Australian projects will be funded under the Australian Heritage Grants program.

Paxton Square Cottages will receive $180,000 for external wall remediation and $150,000 will be dedicated to Nilpena Ediacara National Park Oral History Project and First Nations Stories.

This funding is part of the $5.57 million Round 5 of the Australian Heritage Grants program to protect, restore and manage Australia's unique National Heritage listed places.

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