Our heritage team comprises of over 20 people located across the business centres of Perth, Port Hedland, Roebourne and Tom Price, and our team comprises of many representatives of the indigenous communities within which we work. The identification and management of culturally important sites is fundamental to Fortescue's approach to sustainable operations.
A key part of the Fortescue values platform is for people to engage in a cross cultural awareness program that ensures all employees appreciate the value systems of the communities across our project area.
The Heritage Department ensures that Fortescue‘s operational and expansion activities comply with statutory obligations under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (AHA).
The Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA) provides for the preservation of places (s5) and objects (s6) customarily used by or traditional to the Aboriginal people of Western Australia.
Under Section 17 of the AHA, a person who excavates, destroys, damages or conceals or in any way alters any Aboriginal site or object commits an offence.
The heritage department achieves compliance with the AHA by management of:
Satisfying these components is fundamental to facilitating approvals for Fortescue’s current and future projects.
- Maintaining excellent and mutually beneficial relationships with Native Title Parties and their representatives;
- Applications for authorisations (under Section 16) and consents (under Section 18) of the AHA for consent to use the land in a way that would otherwise be likely to give rise to a breach of the Aboriginal Heritage Act;
- Developing and managing excellent internal heritage processes that assist Fortescue to avoid and mitigate impact on Aboriginal Cultural Heritage. This is done through Heritage providing strategic planning advice to project directors; management of Ground Disturbance Permits and conditions; development and implementation of Cultural Heritage Management Plans; and Heritage Inductions; and
- Compliance with Fortescue’s Land Access Agreements and AHA consent conditions.
Fortescue’s Heritage Department has four key units that manage their approvals and compliance with statutory requirements. These include Heritage Approvals; Heritage Compliance; Heritage Field (Solomon, Exploration and Chichester); and Heritage Promotions and Training.