Media campaigns on Roe 8/Perth Freight Link

img_6091In recent weeks the City of Melville and the Liberal Party have engaged in an expensive advertising campaign to inform the public of their version of the “truth” about Roe 8 and the Perth Freight Link. Some of us believe that these advertisements are misleading as they contain half truths, falsehoods and selective use of factual information.

Members of the Beeliar Group have attempted to correct these errors through letters to the editors, but only some of our information has been published. Some examples of letters that did not appear in the mainstream media are linked below, along with those that did. They are essential reading for anyone who wishes to know the full picture about Roe 8 and the Perth Freight Link.

Roe 8 construction zone contains a rare and significant Aboriginal archaeological site.

image-5Archeologists Dr Joe Dortch and Dr Fiona Hook have recovered flaked stone artefacts made from quartz, crystal quartz, chert, and two small fragments of granite from site DAA 4107, which lies across the Roe 8 construction zone in the Beeliar Regional Park. Significantly, they also found that the ground in and surrounding the dig site was relatively undisturbed, thus contradicting an earlier report’s claim—on which removal of the site from the WA Register of Aboriginal Sites in 2015 was based—that the ground was too disturbed to reveal anything of archeological significance.

On the basis of their findings Dortch and Hook have concluded:

The presence of artefacts and charcoal in undisturbed deposits means that there is potential for a history or sequence of activities and events over thousands of years to be reconstructed. This is a rare opportunity in the metropolitan area where ongoing development has destroyed and disturbed many locations where subsurface archaeological material may be present. Overall, the record of site occupation and the context can provide significant insights into Aboriginal history. The present assessment confirms previous assessments that the deposit at DAA 4107 covers a considerable time span. [1]

Dortch and Hook also maintain that the site in question is a “significant, sub-surface Aboriginal archaeological site”; that the previous Aboriginal Cultural Material Committee (ACMC) determination was based on “poorly assessed and incorrect information”; that the site should be reconsidered as it is of “importance and significance to the Noongar people”; and that nearby areas, including areas within the Roe 8 construction corridor, will contain significant Aboriginal heritage sites”.[2] They also noted that recent vegetation clearing will not have affected deeper and older layers. The archeologists did their pro bono dig on behalf of Corina Abraham, custodian from Whadjuk Noongar country.

[1] Hook, F. Dortch, J. Report of theShovel Test Pitting Survey of DAA 4107 (Bibra Lake North) within Lot 65, between Walliabup and Coolbellup Lakes, City of Cockburn, February 1, 2017, p. 10, https://roguearchaeologist.wixsite.com/daa4107

[2] Ibid, p. 11