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Aboriginal archaeology at the proposed Cliffs golf course on Kangaroo Island

POSTED ON July 5, 2022 @ 6:47 pm

Kangaroo Island archaeologist Andrew Collis lives next to the proposed Cliffs golf course at Pelican Lagoon. And so over the years, he has spent time collecting evidence of Aboriginal occupation of what was Crown Land along the cliffs.

Now it might be too late to get these sites recorded with construction of the course apparently imminent.

The developer meanwhile is confident only one Aboriginal significant site exists and will be protected.

Mr Collis however said he has evidence from three sites that show Aboriginal activities and are of archaeological significance on the proposed course.

Some Aboriginal evidence at the site has been recorded by a heritage survey completed by the developer, but he and other archaeologists do not know the details.

Heritage survey complete

The Cliffs at Kangaroo Island project director Sam Atkins however said the three sites identified by Mr Collis had been investigated.

Mr Atkins said Aboriginal heritage consultants had walked site “five times” and he was confident that the single confirmed site was being protected and would be “celebrated” in the new course.

A spokesperson for the Attorney-General’s Department said an Aboriginal heritage survey had been completed.

“The golf course developer commissioned an Aboriginal heritage survey that was undertaken by a qualified archaeologist with traditional owners,” the spokesperson said.

“The golf course was redesigned after this survey to avoid a known Aboriginal heritage site.

“The survey also led to the creation of a cultural heritage management plan to guide the golf course development.

“This was developed with traditional owners, to ensure any unrecorded or unknown heritage is protected and managed appropriately if discovered.

“This plan includes provisions for traditional owners to monitor ground-disturbing works.”

Regarding additional sites identified by Mr Collis, the spokesperson said it was not clear whether the sites asserted are within the project development boundaries.

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