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July 16, 2024

Pre-dawn raid at Wallum blockade sees one protestor arrested – protestors remain

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It appears that the aim of the pre-dawn raid was to remove the Aboriginal flag and block off the cul-de-sac. Photo supplied.

Around 40 private security guards descended on the peaceful Wallum protest vigil located at the edge of the contentious Wallum site in Brunswick Heads yesterday (June 26) at about 5am. 

Those present said the security guards were clad in black attire and several sported full face coverings and they came from all sides. The Save Wallum community action group quickly rallied in response, with over 100 community protectors coming to the site as new fencing was erected by Clarence Property contractors across the cul de sac at Omega Circuit and the Save Wallum welcome hut was dismantled. 

‘However, the Sacred Fire still burns and the vigil continues 24/7 on the site,’ said a Save Wallum spokesperson. 

Head of Bullseye Security – Andrew Woodburn. Photo supplied

Arrest

Maria, a 33-year-old from Ocean Shores, locked onto a vehicle at the access point to the Wallum site for around four hours. Police arrived at the site at around 7am and Maria was arrested and taken to Byron Police Station and charged with remaining on inclosed lands and hindering a police officer.

‘As a bush regenerator I am compelled to act in the protection of sacred land and endangered species. The community will continue their efforts to protect Wallum. Pulling down the welcome hut and further fencing will not perturb the community striving to protect this special environment,’ says Maria.

Speaking to The Echo Detective Inspector Matt Kehoe of the Tweed Byron Police said, ‘I think the protestors have been compliant and respectful. Obviously where we have complaints of criminal events being committed, from either side, they will be investigated.’ 

26 June 2024 Wallum Still Stands with Nan and Hugh Nicholson. Photo supplied

Iconic support

After hearing the news of the raid on the Save Wallum camp, environmental pioneers and hosts of the iconic Terania Creek protest in 1979,  Nan and Hugh Nicholson (74 and 78 respectively), drove from their home near The Channon to the site.

Sitting at the Wallum Sacred Fire, Nan, offering support to the group, said, ‘with this particular patch of coastal ecosystem we are so far past the point of balance we just have to say no more… we cannot lose another tree,’ shared Nan Nicholson. ‘I encourage you all to keep showing up.’

Detective Inspector Matt Kehoe and the Wallum police liaison officer have both confirmed that there were no police reports of a resident being assaulted.

Wallum community 26 June 2024. Photo supplied


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4 COMMENTS

  1. I support the Blockade. Brave and clever locals who know that we must save precious Wallum country.
    Still don’t understand why the Council approved putting houses on this low, sandy place.

  2. Stay strong. The future needs/respect/applauds you. The Law supports you. Non-violence is a global mantra for all sentient life. Onwards.

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