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In a significant ruling by the High Court, the Commonwealth has been deemed accountable for the damage caused to sacred sites at Gunlom Falls. The decision, overturning a previous judgment, marks a crucial victory for traditional owners and sets a precedent for how government bodies handle sacred sites laws moving forward.

The case revolved around unauthorized construction near a sacred men’s site in Kakadu National Park, authorized by the Director of National Parks. The court clarified that entities like National Parks can face criminal liability under the Sacred Sites Act for such breaches, emphasizing the importance of respecting sacred indigenous sites.

Traditional owners and the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority have welcomed this ruling as a step towards protecting sacred sites and ensuring accountability for any future damages. This landmark decision not only ensures justice for the affected communities but also signals a shift in how Commonwealth corporations and offices will be held responsible for their actions regarding sacred sites.


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Article Title: High Court rules Commonwealth can be criminally liable over damage to Gunlom Falls
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