“That is, fairly frankly, stunning. These caves are a number of the earliest proof of Aboriginal occupation of that a part of the nation,” he instructed the Australian Broadcasting Corp. on Wednesday.
The artwork is taken into account sacred to the Indigenous Mirning individuals who reside on the Nullarbor Plain.
Maher, who can also be the state’s attorney-general, mentioned anyone discovered accountable may face felony prosecution. These convicted of breaching the state’s Aboriginal heritage safety legal guidelines withstand six months in jail or a $10,000 effective.
Maher mentioned authorities have been dedicated to rising these penalties, which have remained in place since 1988, and have been contemplating different protections that may very well be put in place on the nationwide heritage-listed website, together with cameras.
“This isn’t some kind of unintended disturbance,” he mentioned. “That is somebody who has intentionally bought by means of fencing, barbed wire and gone in and destroyed this. That is the worst form of vandalism that I can consider.”
Mirning elder Clem Lawrie instructed the Adelaide Advertiser newspaper he was horrified by the destruction and that repeated requests to the state authorities for higher safety of the positioning had failed.
Koonalda Cave’s nationwide heritage itemizing describes the positioning as containing well-preserved finger markings and distinctive archaeological deposits.
“Koonalda Cave is of excellent heritage worth to the nation for its function in remodeling our up to date understanding of the extraordinary age of Aboriginal artwork, archaeology and occupation in Australia,” the itemizing states.
“The place is of nice significance for its contribution to the historical past of Aboriginal occupation and is of specific significance for the Mirning folks.”