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March 3, 2024

Artefacts moved from quarry site: opponents

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Yillah, Malakai Williams and Rob Williams. (Photo Leisa Webb)
Yillah, Malakai Williams and Rob Williams. (Photo Leisa Webb)

Opponents of a basalt quarry near Kyogle are visiting the Kyogle museum today after being told Aboriginal artefacts were donated by the quarry landowner.

An archeologist and Robert Williams of the Githabul Elders Tribal Council will inspect the artefacts after being told by the landowner yesterday that he removed them from the site and donated them to the museum.

The NSW Land and Environment Court last week granted an injunction to allow for the archeologist to inspect the quarry site after appeals from the Aboriginal opponents who claim the site is highly significant.

EDO solicitor Sue Higginson told Echonetdaily that the injunction meant that no further work could take place at the site until November to allow for a proper archeological assessment to take place.

Opponents contend that the quarry was granted permission to operate without the proper assessments taking place.

The controversial quarry has been the site of ongoing protests in recent weeks, with tempers boiling over recently when a security guard allegedly removed an Aboriginal flag from the gate and doused it with diesel oil.

In another incident, Robert Williams was arrested by police after the landowner accused him of trespassing on the site.

The Githabul tribal elders and the Save the Cedar Point group believe that proper procedure was not followed in the approval of the basalt quarry in 2012.

They also claim that the scars on trees at the site are evidence of where, for thousands of years, boys-turning-into-men made their first axes out of basalt. Previous excavations have shown that the hill also contains water, and opponents believe there may be buried sites which would be disturbed if the quarry owners were allowed to carry out blasting.


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  1. Are they grateful to receive the artefacts? No, they want all the land and probably to close down the business. If ever there was a good reason for keeping stumm that was it.

  2. It is clearly a sacred site.
    It is vitally important to support the legal owners and custodians of the land to preserve and care-take their country for the sake of us all .
    The occupying government (called the Australian Government which is illegally occupying this vast continent of 500 aboriginal nations who are the legal owners) need to admit past mistakes, listen with great respect to what they are being told by the custodians and owners about the country they have so recently(what is 200+ years c.f. 80,000+ years) occupied and negotiate carefully the protection of these places . Respect the Original traditional owners whose country it still is.
    It is time that we opened our blind eyes to the truth of our history and actions as occupiers or other peoples land and made some serious and committed action to redress these past injustices.
    I call on all who are reading this article to contemplate carefully these issues and to support the Githabul Tribal Elders and The save the Cedar Point Group in the preservation or their country in every way possible.
    Yours sincerely Josephine Beams (MatiJo)

  3. Unbelievable! The artefacts were “donated” what an outrage! I am appalled and ashamed…
    Turning a living culture into a museum exhibit was the practise of the 1700’s. We haven’t learnt a thing! What arrogance!


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