Gomeroi community demands protection

Gomeroi community demands Federal Environment Minister Hunt protect family graves from Whitehaven mine

Gomeroi community demands Federal Environment Minister Hunt protect family graves from Whitehaven mine

Gomeroi Elders and community members have issued a statement today (attached) imploring Federal Environment Minister Hunt to protect their ancestor’s graves at the Maules Creek mine operated by Whitehaven in regional NSW.

A community ceremony and protest in Gunnnedah has been called by Gomeroi Elders for January 24 to voice these demands. Further details to be announced.

We ask Minister Hunt to declare an emergency section 9 temporary protection stay of works until these matters and our section 10 application can be appropriately determined before it’s all too late”, the statement reads.

The Gomeroi community campaign calls for access for living relatives to care for the burial sites.

On Monday 13 January, our Elders and some Gomeroi members of community tried to go the entrance of Whitehaven’s mine to undertake ceremony for the desecration of our ancestor’s burials and destruction of our women’s area. We were shocked that we were denied access [and] the police then threatened to arrest our Elders and members of the community”, reads the statement.

Whitehaven has repeatedly publicly undermined the legitimate attempts by Gomeroi people to protect their family graves.

Our Elders and Gomeroi Traditional peoples should be shown more respect. Whitehaven infers that we are a minority – this is extremely malicious as it is an attempt of a mining company to misrepresent the truth”, says the statement.

It continues, “What they fail to say is that our Elders and community – well over 70 people directly and many more others hold concerns about what is happening and so many of us signed the section 9 and section 10 ATSIHP Act application and stay of works appeals at both State and Commonwealth levels”.

We will be having a series of spiritual ceremonies and rolling range of protests which is building momentum until this matter is addressed. Our message is simple- we will not be going away and we will not be silenced”, concludes the statement.

DOLLY TALBOTT – 0413 131 983



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