Friday, November 9, 2012

Mining company accused of destroying Indigenous site

Australia -

an Eastern Arrernte woman ponders Medford Taylor

Buru Energy 'bulldozed Aboriginal site'

Kimberley Aboriginal leader Wayne Bergmann has demanded Buru Energy halt works at its Ungani oilfield operations in the Canning Basin, claiming the company had bulldozed a significant Aboriginal site without permission and damaged artefacts tens of thousands of years old.

Mr Bergmann has lodged a complaint with the Department of Indigenous Affairs, which has said it is investigating the matter.

Test production of oil began at Ungani, about 100km east of Broome, earlier this year, in the first commercial onshore production in the region since the Blina oilfield started up in 1983.

Mr Bergmann said Buru had been warned by traditional owners not to conduct ground disturbing works in the sandhills, which contained extensive evidence of human habitation.

“The ‘Blue Hills’ is an area that had a high Aboriginal population,” he said.

“There is rock art, grinding stones … there’s about 50 of them and spear sharpening tools in the area they’ve bulldozed. We’re talking about material that is 10, 20, 30 thousand years old...

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