• Aerial view of the proposed quarry site. (Supplied/Save Cedar Point Action Group)Source: Supplied/Save Cedar Point Action Group
Following an urgent injunction and a subsequent Land and Environment Court hearing in Sydney, Githabul Tribal Elders have been granted access to a disputed basalt quarry site in Kyogle to conduct an archaeological study.
By
NITV Staff Writer

Source:
NITV News
20 Sep 2016 - 2:06 PM  UPDATED 21 Sep 2016 - 10:49 AM

The quarry site was surveyed on Tuesday by senior archeologist Jakub Czastka from Tocomwall, an Aboriginal cultural heritage consultancy firm that provides archeological, ecological and cultural heritage services across Australia.

The basalt hill in question is allegedly an ancient men’s initiation site containing human remains.  Githabul tribal elders revealed the secret location of the remains in a bid to stop the hill being blasted to smithereens.

NITV understands that the local Gullibal people also claim traditional ownership of the land and support the development of the site, which is currently privately owned.

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Human remains 'present' at proposed quarry on men’s initiation site
Githabul tribal elders have revealed the secret location of an ancient sacred men’s site in a bid to stop a hill being blasted to make way for a basalt quarry near Kyogle, in northern New South Wales.

Githabul tribal elder Rob Williams told NITV that even though he welcomes the survey, today’s visit is not sufficient.

“(The study) is not going to happen in one day. We need more time with the archaeologist.”

Binnah Pownall from the Save the Cedar Point Action Group echoed Mr William’s views.

“The court gave 50 hours for us to visit the site and the archeologist is only available today… We’ve been asking for a comprehensive environmental study and this is not enough,” Mr Pownall says.

The Save the Cedar Point Action Group told NITV Mr Czastka visited the quarry site first, and then made his way to the Kyogle Historical Museum.  

Mr Czastka visited the local museum to analyze objects supposedly donated by the quarry landowner, which could be traditional artefacts derived from the basalt hill.

The Githabul tribal elders and the Save the Cedar Point group believe that proper procedure was not followed in the approval the basalt quarry in 2012. They maintain Ron Randall, CEO of the Gugin Gudduba Local Aboriginal Land Council in Kyogle gave the go ahead without consulting with the Githabul people. Comment is being sought from Rob Randall and the Gugin Gudduba Local Aboriginal Land Council in Kyogle.

Rob Graham, owner of Graham's Quarry, claims his company has "dealt with the local land council" and obtained all the necessary permissions. Mr Graham says the land in dispute doesn’t belong to the Githabul people.

The Land and Environment Court hearing in Sydney extended the order to stop work at the proposed quarry until mid-November.