Willandra Lakes ancestral remains reburial - Invitation for public comment

Notice of Publication of Preliminary Documentation under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)

Notice of Publication of Preliminary Documentation under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)

The following notice is published pursuant to section 95(2) of the EPBC Act.

Heritage NSW (NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet) is consulting on the proposal to rebury 108 Aboriginal Ancestral Remains (including Mungo Man and Mungo Woman) in the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area. 

It is proposed that the Ancestral Remains will be reburied at 26 sites across Mungo National Park and four Western Land Lease properties in NSW. The reburial project is the final stage in the return of the repatriated Ancestors that are currently held in secure storage at Mungo National Park (reference: EPBC 2021/8951). 

The proposed action was determined a Controlled Action under the EPBC Act with a Preliminary Documentation level of assessment. The controlling provisions are World Heritage properties (sections 12 & 15A) and National Heritage places (sections 15B & 15C). 

As a part of this consultation, the NSW Government wants to hear from local communities, and the public, on an option of a permanent Keeping Place for those remains of Mungo Man and Mungo Woman. Such a Keeping Place could involve reburial in a retrievable, controlled environment to provide for further scientific research. The NSW Government would like to canvass community views on options for a Keeping Place.

The EPBC referral documents (including attachments) will be available for public review on this website and at the following locations until 31 January 2022:

  • Buronga Library – Midway Service Centre, 6 Midway Drive, Buronga NSW 2739
  • Wentworth Library – Murray Street, Wentworth NSW 2648
  • NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment - Corner of Sturt Highway and Melaleuca Street, Buronga NSW 2739.

If a member of the public cannot access the documents on this website, a copy of the documentation can be supplied either by email by calling 02 6022 0631.

EPBC referral and attachments

The submission of written comments must be either mailed to:

Heritage NSW

PO Box 1040

ALBURY NSW 2640

or emailed to: willandra.repatriation@environment.nsw.gov.au

All comments must be received by COB (5pm AEST) Monday 31 January 2022. Persons with special needs (eg for whom English is a second language or who have a vision impairment) may contact Heritage NSW for assistance on 02 6022 0631.

Your submission will be provided to the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Heritage NSW will then publish a summary of all submissions and responses, together with the original documentation, including any changes or additions made in response to the public comments.