February 13, 2014

Stand with the Gomeroi

It is a given, coal mining (or any fossil fuel fossicking) is a the land and the surrounding environs.  And to what end?  To produce a toxic product that severely limits our chances of a safe future.  

But it is not only the present and the future that the mining industry endangers, it destroys traditions of the past and those people who have cherished and cared for this beautiful country for generation upon generation.  This total disregard for the land and its inhabitants (people, fauna and flora) can be seen all too clearly in Whitehaven’s treatment of the Gomeroi People, the traditional inhabitants of the stunning, but soon to be severely marred, Leard Forest.

In order to clear the way for their open-cut mines at Maules Creek, Whitehaven is in the process of bulldozing as much as half of the Leard State Forest.   Not only will they be destroying the natural habitat of hundreds of species of animals and plants, they will be trashing burial and other sacred sites of the Gomeroi People who have lived on this land for as long as anyone can remember.

Gomeroi elders say that they have been treated with complete disrespect and disregard.  They claim that they have been denied access to sacred sites and threatened with arrest, forcing themto sit back and watch as bulldozers destroy one of the primary factors that hold them together as a people – their country – their land.

And what is being done about this?  Well Whitehaven aren’t looking to change their plans, and the government hasn’t stepped in to protect the rights of the people or the environment.

But the Gomeroi people aren’t ready to roll over yet, they will stand and fight until the end, and many others are starting to rise to the rally cry. Environmental groups from across Australia are standing with the Gomeroi.  To show their solidarity they have formed an alliance supporting a statement of support for the Gomeroi people, and the battle to save their sacred lands.  

We all need to stand together to protect what is sacred in this world – our environment, and the rights of all those who inhabit it.  
This heedless and needless destruction won’t stop with Maules Creek and the Leard Forest.  It is happening everywhere and will continue to do so if the government and companies like Whitehaven think they can get away with it.  
Let’s take away their social license before it is too late to save what is precious to us.