• Palm Island, December 12, 2004. Aerial view of the township on Palm Island off the coast of Townsville in north Queensland. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) (AAP)Source: AAP
The remains have been confirmed as being over 100 years old and are believed to be of Aboriginal origin.
Douglas Smith

27 May 2020 - 1:14 PM  UPDATED 27 May 2020 - 1:36 PM

Human remains that were unearthed by workers in the Indigenous community of Palm Island have been confirmed as being over a century old.

The Queensland Police said in a statement that the "bone fragments were found at the bottom of a 800 millimetre deep trench, and were identified as human and over 100 years old."

Forensic testing will now be undertaken.

Local Shire Council workers made the discovery just before 10am on Tuesday while they were carrying out road maintenance. 

A post on the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council Facebook page said the remains were believed to be “Aboriginal in origin and dated pre-settlement”.

“While excavating a trench near the Service Station, some bones were located at a depth of approximately 80cm below the surface,” it read. 

“The registered body for the traditional owners is being consulted in relation to the repatriation of the remains.

“The road has been in place for more than 50 years. 

“Local Traditional owner Allan Palm Island has visited the scene and remains in touch with both Police and Mayor Sam about appropriate cultural protocols.”

After the discovery, work was ceased with police immediately called in and a crime scene established. 

The area is closed to the public.

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