Adani set to destroy cultural heritage

Under cover of darkness, Adani has begun bulldozing a highly significant Wangan and Jagalingou cultural heritage site. Adani have now laid explosives, and plan to detonate our sacred site to make way for their expanding coal mine pit. They must be stopped.

We need your urgent help to stop Adani from further desecrating and destroying sacred Wangan and Jagalingou sites – tell Minister Craig Crawford to STOP WORK now!

The site contains the highest concentration of artefacts uncovered at Adani’s Carmichael coal mine to date. [1] The site is an ancient stone tool making area that our people utilised for thousands of years. Hundreds of artefacts have already been collected, and thousands more remain. 

These artefacts are a reminder of who we are – they cannot be destroyed. 

Adani’s attempt to plunder and destroy our cultural heritage is in clear violation of our human rights to maintain and strengthen our distinctive spiritual, material and economic relationship with the land, and conserve and protect the environment under section 28 of the Queensland Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld).

The Queensland Government must act now to protect our human rights by issuing an immediate stop work order to halt Adani’s destruction of our cultural heritage.

Can you call the office of the Queensland Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Craig Crawford, and demand that he make an immediate stop work order to protect our cultural heritage and human rights from Adani?

Adani bulldozing a Wangan and Jagalingou sacred site, 4 November 2021.

Our lawyers have written to both Adani and the Queensland Government seeking urgent intervention to halt the destruction of a significant cultural heritage site. The Queensland Government has so far failed to respond to our concerns and has given no assurances that safeguards are in place to appropriately protect the site at imminent risk of destruction by Adani.

We have grave fears that irreversible damage could have already been done.

Adani has a cultural heritage duty of care under section 23 of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld) to take all reasonable and practicable measures to ensure excavation work does not harm Aboriginal cultural heritage. It is an offence to breach this duty of care and Adani and the Queensland government must act today to protect our human rights.

Adani has known about the significance of this sacred site for years, and they have pushed on with plans to destroy it regardless. Now, the archaeologists know, the native title lawyers know, the Government knows, the journalists know, and the public knows. It is time for Adani to be held to account and stopped before it is too late.

Friends, we cannot allow our cultural heritage to be destroyed. Please contact the office of Minister Craig Crawford today and urge him to issue an urgent stop work order.

Adani is disrespecting us and our authority as Traditional Owners. This is why we have been speaking up all these years. This is why we are on Country now, where we have been having ceremony for the last 60 days.

We will not back down.

Yours for Country,

Adrian Burragubba,
Elder and spokesperson
Wangan and Jagalingou Nagana Yarrbayn Cultural Custodians

P.S. We continue to maintain a presence on Country at the Waddananggu ceremony which has been going for more than 60 days now. We need your support to stay on Country, to protect our land, water, and culture. Donate here.

P.P.S. You can find out more about Wangan and Jagalingou Nagana Yarrbayn Cultural Custodians over on our website.

References:
[1] Traditional owner holds fears for heritage site at Adani coal mine, The Sydney Morning Herald, October 25 2021.

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