March 6, 2014

Gomeroi pleas falling on deaf ears

The government and in particular environment minister Greg Hunt have disappointed (but not surprised) us yet again.

It is clear to almost anyone that has read about or seen the destruction to the Leard Forest, and the cultural lands of the Gomeroi people, being carried out by Whitehaven is a travesty and an embarrassment.  It is a strike against the rights of and our environment.  Yet it doesn’t look like Greg Hunt sees it this way.

Earlier this week, Dolly Talbott, representing the Gomeroi people, had a meeting with our environment minister.  She hoped that if he heard first hand of the destruction that is happening to Gomeroi lands, their cultural sites, heritage and traditions he would be moved to take some action.  At least she hoped that he would stop works by Whitehaven until he could investigate the destruction and damage himself.  But it seems that Mr Hunt was not moved.

Dolly gave the following statement after the meeting.  

“Mr. Hunt made no further commitments despite hearing firsthand the destruction that has taken place in the forest and hearing that elders have been excluded from the site and performing ceremony.

“He didn’t respond to an invitation from the Gomeroi Elders to visit the site and witness first-hand the destruction that is taking place.”

For 116 days the bulldozers, earthworks and now the blasters from Whitehaven have wreaked havoc in this beautiful area.   Pleas to the government to do something are falling on deaf ears.  Looks like we will need to speak a bit louder – looks like we need to start to shout.