The women now have a sacred and protected area which they plan to use for cultural activities and lessons. These days, Blacktown is still home to large numbers of Aboriginal people. In 2016, then-federal environment minister Greg Hunt declined to protect the sites under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act. The hundreds of sites protected by Council include middens, rock carvings, camp sites, rock shelters and art. “We think this outcome highlights the fact that our federal culture and heritage laws are not fit for purpose,” he added in a statement. “Especially after the destruction of the Juukan caves, there’s an urgent need to protect the places of significance to Aboriginal people. To Aboriginal people, the sites provide a direct link with their traditional culture. Mr Hunt said he made the decision based on advice from his department. The motion, moved by Greens MP and Environment and Water Spokesperson Cate Faehrmann, noted the destruction of the ancient caves at Juukan Gorge in Western Australia, and called for the NSW Government to ensure a similar act will not occur at the proposed Shenhua Watermark coal mine. Shenhua declined to be interviewed but has promised to move the grinding grooves to another location. "And then to be told you meet the criteria but the monetary value of the mine is more important, that's a slap in the face, not just to our people, but all Aboriginal people.". This site potential diagram shows where in a landscape Aboriginal sites are most likely to be found. Ancient, sacred grinding grooves within the proposed Shenhua Watermark coal mine site. This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced. Liverpool Plains in NSW. Ms Talbott took the Environment Minister to court over her refusal to grant heritage protection in May and she is currently awaiting the judge's decision on this matter. "You can't move a site of a particular spiritual nature without impacting the values inherent in it," principal archaeologist at GML Heritage, Dr Tim Owen, said. Your email address will not be published. “Words really can’t explain the relief from such a hard battle… and we overcame them all and we came together and the Aboriginal community has come together and we have united as one and we’ve been successful,” she said. The hulking sandstone monolith has hosted Indigenous ceremonies for more than 10,000 years and the local Anangu community believe ancestral beings continue to live on at the site. Abraham ordered the Environmental Defenders Office, which is representing Talbott and the Gomeroi traditional owners, to pay costs of $1,000. Gomeroi custodian Dolly Talbott was suing the environment minister, Sussan Ley, in the federal court, alleging Ley made an error of law in deciding not to make a declaration to protect the Aboriginal heritage. "It's not possible to move those grooves without destroying them," she said. Rio Tinto chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques issued an apology for the ‘distress we have caused the PKKP (Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura) in relation to Juukan Gorge’ on 12 June. Shenhua plans to build an open cut mine on a site, near Gunnedah, where it expects to extract about 10 million tonnes of coal. Labor senator Pat Dodson said it is imperative that the destruction of Aboriginal sites is removed from the mentality of decision-makers in Australia. Aboriginal women from the Central Coast in New South Wales are “ecstatic” following the announcement that one of their sacred sites will be heritage listed. The site is highly symbolic for the Darkinjung and Guringai women and is the highly sacred birthplace of the creation deity, Daramulan. Surly we are intelligent enough to think of other ways to strengthen our economy. When he told a story he traced the fold in a tablecloth with his forefinger just like you. “The court has found that the minister was permitted to consider very broad, non-Indigenous, matters in deciding to refuse protection for these ancient sites of immeasurable value.”. The motion was moved by Greens MP and environment and water spokesperson Cate Faehrmann and passed without any opposition. ‘Therefore if the government is to ensure that Aboriginal heritage is not destroyed on the site then it is extremely difficult to see how the Shenhua mine can go ahead,’ said Ms Faehrmann.
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