• Kakadu NP, NT. Vince Russell/Unsplash
    Kakadu NP, NT. Vince Russell/Unsplash

This is some interesting news from the Top End.

Parks Australia says it will plead guilty to allegations it damaged a sacred site in Kakadu National Park during construction work in 2019, the ABC reports.

The Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (AAPA) and traditional owners have been locked in a long-running court case with Parks Australia centred on alleged damage to a sacred men's site at Gunlom Falls during the construction of a new walking track in 2019.

Gunlom Falls, which is one of Kakadu's most renowned tourist destinations, has been closed since the dispute began.

This picturesque waterfall is one of the finest in Kakadu, and one of the most popular.

Its cascading waters and pristine plunge pool are a highlight of Kakadu and are spectacular for photography.

In early May, the High Court ruled that Parks Australia, the Commonwealth body which jointly manages Kakadu with traditional owners, could be held criminally liable for the alleged damage.

In a statement, director of national parks Ricky Archer said he had advised AAPA and traditional owners that Parks Australia would plead guilty.

"I understand that the trackwork at Gunlom Falls which was undertaken in 2019 before my tenure in the role, caused great distress and upset to the Jawoyn Traditional Owners of the site," he said.

"I express my deep and sincere apologies to Traditional Owners for the wrongs of the past.

"Our focus now is working with Traditional Owners, AAPA and the Northern Land Council on the next steps in relation to the Gunlom site. This includes obtaining an Authority Certificate from AAPA for continued use of the site."

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