BRISBANE (Pacific Media Watch / The Sunday Mail / ABC): A planned Aust-Pac Capital mining project could see 30,000-year-old indigenous Australian rock art destroyed.
According to the Sunday Mail, the Australian state government has approved Aust-Pac Capital's proposal to build a coal mine at Bathurst Heads in Queensland.
Some Aboriginal leaders have opposed the company's Wongai mining project consistently over the past three years but others have given the go ahead for the mine to proceed.
The Kalpowar traditional land owners have approved the mine in exchange for 200 jobs and shares for traditional owners.
According to the Sunday Mail:
Mr Hart is a traditional owner of parts of the Bathurst and Melville Ranges, described as the “Lost World” by scientists, after several new species were found in a first-ever expedition by National Geographic last year.
His grandfather was the last of the “undertakers”, who wrapped the dead in a “cocoon” of bark, and stashed them in a honeycomb of caves, painted with sacred symbols, pictures of tall ships and dreaming stories.
“Lots of so-called traditional owners don’t care. They are only looking at dollar signs. To them it’s all about the money,’’ he said.
“It’s one of world’s oldest examples of occupation, and it is here in north Queensland.’’
Aboriginal art and sacred burial sites have come under threat from big mining companies before. Mining magnate Gina Rinehart has previously been forced to scrap plans for diamond mines in areas where the ancient rock art is found.
Environmentalists are also opposed to the Wongai mining project because the coal will be loaded onto boats that wil need to dock in the nearby Great Barrier Reef.
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