Gomeroi Elders, Maules Creek farmers, community and environment organisations joined together to march down the main street of Gunnedah before heading to Boggabri to sign the historic “Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and Environmental Protection Agreement” for the area threatened by the Maules Creek and Boggabri mines.
The Agreement sets out the protocols for protecting cultural heritage, lands and water and formalise the ways in which Gomeroi Elders and community will come together to protect what is jointly important to them.
The Agreement will also ensure that the protection of culture and heritage will be integrated into any protection efforts of any signatory undertaking their democratic right to peaceful protest.
Respected Gomeroi Elder, Dick Talbot said, “The common threat of open cut mining in a culturally and environmentally significant area such as the Leard State Forest has brought our communities together – we are coming full circle.”
This special day marks the commitment by Gomeroi Elders and community and the non-Aboriginal community to collaborate and continue the campaign to protect culture and heritage and continue to campaign for the environmental protection and wellbeing of future generations.
The full text of the agreement is here.
The Namoi Valley Independent reported on the day’s events:
The historic signing of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and Environmental Protection Agreement was held this morning … as the nation commemorates the sixth anniversary of the National Apology.
Gomeroi Elders and the community held a Welcome to Country ceremony at the Red Kangaroo Memorial followed by a peaceful procession along Conadilly Street.
The agreement is between Gomeroi Elders, Maules Creek landholders and environmental protectors for the area threatened by the Maules Creek and Boggabri mines.