Media Release from Gomeroi Traditional Custodians.
The Gomeroi Traditional Custodians fear that Shenhua Watermark are using obstructive tactics to interfere in the Public hearing process of the NSW Planning and Assessment Commission which affords all people the opportunity to raise their concerns relating to the proposed mine.
“We fear procedural fairness is being hampered by the deliberate inappropriate actions of Shenhua Watermark -a foreign owned company which is owned by the Peoples Republic of China” stated concerned and upset Elders of the Gomeroi Traditional Custodians community
They – Shenhua – are visitors to Australia and visitors to Gomeroi country, yet believe they can actively work to restrict the voices of the community in the PAC determination process and interfere in the lores and customs and communications protocols established by the traditional owners of this Country by restricting the numbers and representation of our people to discuss concerns and cultural values with the PAC
We have had a terrible and traumatic experience by Whitehaven Maules Creek whereby we have denied access to lands for ceremony at our burial site for more than 18 months and here we are with Shenhua Watermark taking steps to restrict the participation of our community in a Public Hearing process which is the last resort process before the PAC make a determination to forever destroy our traditional homelands by the approval of this mine. Once the PAC make a determination we are not able to use the legal merit appeals process other developments would enable us to use as we cannot challenge the statements of Shenhua’s EIS assessment and mitigation management if the mine is approved.
Mr Paul Jackson Shenhua Watermarks manager is trying to sight workplace health and safety and security factors as the reason for such outrageous and disgraceful behaviour….and this is occurring even before they have an approval. We fear these very early signs are a dire warning of what is yet to come and the treatment our Elders and community will receive if they get the approval to start their destruction.
We don’t know what men and women over the age of 70 and families with young children will do to be such a security risk. We ask Paul Jackson “ Please explain.”
We are very appreciative that the NSW PAC are taking the steps to attend significant grinding groove sites with some of our Elders and young warriors, because if the mine is approved Shenhua intend to as a solution to cut these highly significant grinding groove site up like a jigsaw puzzle and shoved to one side for 17 years and then shove them back into some post mining landscape and we are supposed to be grateful that Shenhua intend to do this.
We wonder what the People of the Chinese Republic would feel if we wanted to carve up the Great wall of China and then marginalise their concerns by saying – stop belly aching we will put it back in 17 years’ time -what’s your problem. Is this what the average Australian would believe to be a fair go for our people and to our highly important cultural sites?
The GTC Community are very appreciative of the PACs commitment to undertaking a considered approach to their decisions but Shenhua actions to limit the voice of our community in a public hearing process is based on some untested and poorly documented security risk is highly questioned and raises concerns about prejudicial interference in the justices afforded to other Australians
Shenhua Watermark serious and disgraceful error in judgement in this instance is completely unacceptable and will be challenged by our community……. Shenhua Watermark you are formally put on notice- These Gomeroi Traditional Custodians will not tolerate these injustices. Will other Australian tolerate this treatment of Aboriginal Elders people and sacred cultural sites.
Media Contact: Dolly Talbott
21 Elders and community will meet with the PAC and take them on the Shenhua proposed mining site to visit the two highly significant grinding groove sites.
This will be followed by a community meeting at the Breeza hall Breeza at 2pm with the excluded community and Elders
A briefing session will be provided to media at 330pm relating to the outcome of the day at the Breeza Hall.
Location: Breeza Hall, Hogarth St, Breeza
Time: Monday, 12 January 2015, 3:30pm