Help save the Butterfly Cave

30 June 2017

Help save the Butterfly Cave

Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council and the Sugarloaf and Districts Action Group are calling for help from the Land Rights network to help protect the Butterfly Cave Aboriginal Place at West Wallsend.

The Butterfly Cave is under imminent threat due to a development underway in the area.

Butterfly Cave was declared a significant Aboriginal Place under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NSW), but the granting of a development consent for an adjacent subdivision will irrevocably damage the site and the area around it.

NSWALC has applied to Federal Minister for Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg, to protect the Butterfly Cave, under Section 10 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 (Cth).

The application can be accessed at

The application, on behalf of Awabakal Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC), details the areas to be protected, the cultural significance of the Place as a Place of sacred women's business, the value of native vegetation, and contemporary educational use.

It also seeks an increase of a 20-metre buffer zone around the Butterfly Cave, to a minimum of 100 metres.

In the area of culture and heritage, current laws continue to allow high rates of destruction of Aboriginal heritage, both illegally and legally authorised, and cumulative impacts are not considered.

NSWALC continues to advocate for law reform to protect Aboriginal heritage and decision-making rights for Aboriginal peoples.

To help save the Butterfly Cave and to find out more information, contact Awabakal LALC CEO Rob Russell on 02 4965 4532 and

Submissions in support of protecting the Butterfly Cave (verbal or written) will accepted up to 21 July, 2017. Submissions can be sent to:

Susan McIntyre-Tamwoy
Associate Director
Extent Heritage Pty Ltd
Level 3, 73 Union Street

Telephone: 0428 673 112