Women Stand in Unity on International Women’s Day to Save Aboriginal Sacred Site

MEDIA RELEASE
Women Stand in Unity on International Women’s Day to Save Aboriginal Sacred Site

More photos available: http://alturl.com/9nctg

Maules Creek, 8th March 2016: United with Gomeroi Women on International Women’s Day, three women, Tash Jones, Clarity “Jen Hunt” Greenwood and Chelsea Lazar have locked themselves to habitat trees within the critically endangered Leard State Forest in North West NSW. While Gomeroi women gather on Leard forest road to show support and solidarity for today’s action. Gomeroi elders are requesting Greg Hunt grant protection under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Protection Act (ATISHP Act) for Lawlers Well, the last remaining sacred site scheduled for destruction by Whitehaven Coal.

“As Greg Hunt’s first cousin I am deeply ashamed by his neglect of the Gomeroi, the elders and this sacred site and I am calling for him to permanently protect Lawlers Well, now.” said Clarity Greenwood, (aka. Jen Hunt), social worker.

Two years ago Gomeroi traditional custodians made an urgent application for Environment Minister Greg Hunt to use his powers under Section 9 and 10 of the ATSIHP Act to stop work in the area, following the destruction and desecration of 37 culturally significant sites. Minister Greg Hunt has refused to grant the urgent applications stating that “Whitehaven is not scheduled to clear Lawlers Well until 2017” and therefore he doesn’t need to make an immediate decision.

“It is so hard seeing the destruction of our country. The elders have been waiting too long for answers. It is completely unacceptable that Hunt has dragged his feet on the protection of Lawlers Well. We are asking Greg Hunt to commence an independent report including oral evidence to make an informed decision. We are asking him to do his job right and protect our Lawler’s Well” said Dolly Talbot, Gomeroi Traditional Custodian Spokesperson.

These actions are a part of an ongoing campaign in which over 380 people have been arrested. Earlier this week saw a historic moment when Gomeroi/Gamilaraay men locked on to concrete barrels on a haul road to physically stop the theft of their land.

Further Information:

Dolly Talbot

Traditional Gomeroi Custodian Spokesperson

0413 131 983

Twitter updates @FLACCoal and #LeardBlockade#Gamilmeansno

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