Heritage funding to protect ancient Koonalda Cave: National Tribune

Dept of Climate Change, Energy, Environment & Water

  • The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Minister for the Environment and Water
  • The Hon Dr. Susan Close MP, Deputy Premier and Minister for Climate, Environment and Water
  • Kyam Maher MLC, South Australian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs

Tanya Plibersek, Minister for the Environment and Water, has announced more than $720,000 to support action to restore and preserve some of Australia’s oldest cultural heritage sites in South Australia, including Koonalda Cave.

Set within the Nullarbor Wilderness Protection Area in South Australia, Koonalda Cave is home to an array of ancient finger markings and unique archaeological deposits providing evidence of Aboriginal life dating back more than 22,000 years.

The grant will deliver $400,000 to protect and conserve Koonalda Cave in partnership with local Aboriginal people and the South Australian Government.

Funding to protect and conserve Koonalda Cave will involve working with Traditional Owners on the conservation management of the site including the installation of a state-of-the-art security system to protect the site into the future.

The Government’s Australian Heritage Grants program will also fund two additional South Australian projects. These grants will protect places that offer a rare glimpse into our geological and historic heritage at the Ediacara Fossil Site at Nilpena and the Australian Cornish Mining site at Burra.

The projects are:

  • $180,000 for Paxton Square Cottages – external wall remediation and renewal delivered by Regional Council of Goyder at Burra Australian Cornish Mining site.
  • $150,000 for Nilpena Ediacara National Park Oral History Project and First Nations Stories delivered by the South Australian Government at Ediacara Fossil Site – Nilpena.
  • This funding is part of the $5.57 million Round 5 of the Australian Heritage Grants program to protect, restore and manage Australia’s unique National Heritage listed places.

In total, the Australian Government is investing more than $25 million through the Australian Heritage Grants program.

There are 120 places of outstanding natural, Indigenous or historic value on the National Heritage List, spanning every state and territory, from remote landscapes and ecosystems to the historic centres of our biggest cities.