Willandra Lakes ancestral remains reburial

Heritage NSW sought public comment on the proposal to rebury Aboriginal Ancestors whose remains were previously excavated from the Willandra Lakes Region World Heritage Area.

Mungo National Park landscapeThe Willandra Lakes Ancestral Remains Reburial Project proposal was open for public consultation between 1 November 2021 and 31 January 2022. The consultation has now closed.

The public consultation allowed the community to have their say on the proposal to rebury 108 Aboriginal Ancestors, including Mungo Man and Mungo Woman, at 26 sites across Mungo National Park and 4 Western Land Lease properties in NSW. The reburial project is the final stage in the return of the repatriated Ancestors who have been held in secure storage at Mungo National Park.

The proposed action was determined to be a controlled action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The controlling provisions are World Heritage properties (Chapter 2, Part 3, Division 1, Subdivision A, sections (ss) 12 & 15A) and National Heritage places (Chap 2, Pt 3, Div 1, Subdiv AA, ss 15B & 15C).

A notice was published in accordance with section 95B(2) of the EPBC Act that requires the publication of preliminary documentation following the consultation period.

The Willandra Lakes Ancestral Remains Reburial Project: Summary of public submissions contains a summary of all public submissions received and where relevant, how they have been addressed.

The application for the reburial project was approved on 31 March 2022 by the Australian Government under the EPBC Act.

Details of the process and approval are available on the EPBC Public Portal, search for referral number 2021/8951.

Background documents