Traditional owners battle mining companies over sacred sites

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Traditional owners in the Gladstone region of Queensland have accused coal seam gas companies of damaging Aboriginal sacred sites in the area.

The Goreng people, along with three other language groups in the area, have accused mining giant Santos, the Queensland Gas Company and Asia Pacific LNG of ignoring local Aboriginal cultural heritage.

The traditional owners, represented by the Port Curtis Coral Coast Native Title Group, protested at the weekend after damage to local sacred sites.

Santos is building 400-kilometre pipelines from the Surat Basin to Gladstone Port to export LNG.

Port Curtis Coral Coast Native Title Association representative Nat Minniecon said sites had been damaged along the pipeline.

He said the mining companies had breached the Native Title Land Use Agreement and been disrespectful in their practice.

In a statement to media, the Queensland Gas Corporation said a cultural heritage agreement with traditional owners was registered in 2010 and a Native Title Land Use Agreement in January 2011.

It said in the statement that "under these agreements, Indigenous representatives lead cultural heritage surveys before any ground is disturbed" and they had “recorded no Aboriginal cultural heritage sites in their surveys.”

But the traditional owner groups were not happy and are now considering legal action against the mining companies.

For more, watch the full report in the video player above.

Source NITV News

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