Githabul elders are calling on Kyogle police to prosecute the owners of the Cedar Point Quarry near Kyogle after an Aboriginal flag was stolen and allegedly doused with diesel oil.
The alleged incident happened early on Monday morning.
Elders and their families had gathered at the quarry when a security guard employed by the quarry allegedly seized the flag, which was hanging on the gate, and drove off with it in the back of his ute.
Kyogle police were called and attended the scene, and within ten minutes of entering the property had retrieved the flag.
The protestors claim the flag had been doused in diesel oil, although police said it was not clear whether the substance was diesel or something else from the back of the ute.
Githabul elder Rob Williams said he was very disappointed about the damage to the Aboriginal flag.
‘They have showed much disrespect to the original icon. The Aboriginal flag is representative of all the original people in the country,’ he said.
Meanwhile, Githabul elder Yillah criticised the approval process which had allowed the quarry to expand.
‘The way they went about in getting this particular approval (Cedar Point Quarry), the tribal men they used for the cultural assessment, were the wrong men to country, an insult to us as people, and seems to be common practice around the state to use local land councils to do assessment, usurping the original people of their rights to their sacred sites,’ he said.
Sergeant Smith from Kyogle police confirmed that the flag had been taken and covered in something.
But he said police were still waiting to speak with anyone who actually witnessed the incident.