A group of Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners opposed to a controversial coal mine in central Queensland are embarking on a 5-day bike ride, to draw attention to the damage they say is being done on their Country.
About 100 cyclists are taking part in the Tour De Carmichael, a 105 kilometre guided ride from the Gregory Highway to Adani’s Carmichael mine site.
Along the way, participants will visit a number of significant sites, including Twin Hills and the Belyando River, and learn about Wangan and Jagalingou’s stories, culture and totems.
Traditional Owner and tour leader, Coedie McAvoy says the ride is part protest, part cultural tour.
“This tour’s mainly to highlight the destruction that Adani’s doing, as well as highlighting Wangan and Jagalingou culture to reinforce to the mining companies and to the government that we’re still here, and we’re still here, and we’re still practicing our culture,” he said.
The Tour De Carmichael is the latest effort in the Wangan and Jagalingou group’s eight year campaign against the coal mine and its operator.
The group has previously launched three court challenges against Adani, and last August blocked the road to one of its work camps for four days.
“It's just another chapter to the story really. You know, we’ve fought in the courts, and now we’re on the ground out on country, doing our thing to make our presence known, and to continue the resistance against the occupation of a mining company on our traditional country,” Mr McAvoy said.
Mr McAvoy says he won’t stop at the cycle tour, and says the group will continue to find different ways to campaign against the controversial mine, as long as it's operating on their homelands.
His message to the miner is simple.
“Give up, just give up. Stop. You either stop or I keep going, because I’m not going to stop anytime soon, there’s no reason for me to stop. I’m going to continue on with this even if its for the rest of the life of the mine, I’ll be here and I’ll be a thorn in your side.”