Labor calls for butterfly caves to be protected: Aboriginal heritage site at risk

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The NSW Opposition will move for the Butterfly Caves Aboriginal heritage site nearNewcastle to be protected by the State Government when parliament resumes this week, Labor's Luke Foley said today.

"This week I will move a motion in the NSW Parliament calling on the Minister for Environment and Heritage, Robyn Parker to include the Butterfly Caves Aboriginal heritage site in a nature reserve," Mr Foley said.

"Including the Butterfly Caves in a nature reserve will protect its environmental and heritage values in perpetuity.

"I'm concerned a development application lodged for a housing estate in the area does not have an acceptable buffer between the new homes and the Butterfly Caves.

"The development proposal lodged by Hammersmith Management Pty Ltd is seeking approval for a 375 lot subdivision in West Wallsend and Holmesville, nearby the caves.

"The Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council believes the development as a whole is showing disrespect to their culture and heritage.

"The Member for Cessnock, Clayton Barr has also raised this issue with me, and voiced his strong opposition to the development application.

"As Minister for Environment and Heritage, Robyn Parker can protect the precious Butterfly Caves site from development by declaring it a nature reserve.

"This declaration would ensure the significant cultural site would be preserved for future generations to enjoy."