Protect Sacred Sites! Save Lawlers Well!
Take action now to protect Gomeroi sacred sites in the Leard State Forest
There are over 38 Aboriginal sacred sites that will be destroyed or irrevocably damaged by Whitehaven’s controversial Maules Creek Mine, that is clearing the critically endangered Leard State Forest on Gomeroi country. The destruction of these sites constitutes gross human rights violations. The project breaches the following: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 2, and 18,UN Declaration on the rights of Indigenous peoples Articles 5, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 24, 25,26, 29, 31,34, 37,40.
One of these Gomeroi heritage sites is Lawlers Well. This place, which is vital to Gomeroi people, will be totally destroyed by the Maules Creek Project if it goes ahead as currently planned. This sacred site has links to and from bora (initiation ceremony sites), dreaming and navigation stories of the day and night sky, seasonality and a unique waterhole in the forest, all contributing to its crucial importance to Gomeroi traditional heritage and continuing practices.
Gomeroi Traditional Custodians have launched an application for an urgent section 9 and 10 permanent protection through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act to save Lawlers Well. All other legal options have been exhausted.
Elders need your support to save the sacred site at Lawlers Well. Greg Hunt is the minister that has discretionary power to protect the sacred site – but he wont do it without significant pressure. We must apply masses of people power and political pressure to save this site.
After over 18 months of hardship, Elders and Traditional Custodians finally gained access to the site to conduct ceremony via an Anti-Discrimination conciliation process to resolve agreement with Whitehaven to allow them access.
It is unacceptable that it has taken so much struggle to get to this point and shameful
Whitehaven admits in its own report that impacts to heritage sites may affect the well-being of the Aboriginal community. The last year and a half has seen over 21 deaths in the Gomeroi community, some of whom were explicitly and repeatedly denied by Whitehaven their last wish, which was to visit country and undertake ceremony one last time.
Elders and Gomeroi Traditional Custodians need your support to save one of the most significant sites in the Leard Forest. For the continuation of the Gomeroi culture, traditions and way of life, Lawlers Well must be protected.
What can you do:
Elders are requesting written letters to be addressed to Mr Greg Hunt (Minister for the Environment) to apply his ministerial power and obligations to protect the site, and build across the board political pressure to protect sacred sites.
Letter to other members of parliament including the Greens labour the Pup and independents at both state and commonwealth levels is also needed for bilateral support and pressure to be applied to Minister Greg Hunt to declare a protection under the ATSHIP ACT
Address the letter to Josh Frydenberg MP Minister for the Environment.
(or any of the other MPs you want to write to)
On the envelope address it to
Josh Frydenberg MP
C/O Gomeroi Traditional Custodians
12 Creek Reserve Rd
Boolaroo NSW 2284
We’re doing it this way so Elders get to directly see how many people support them in their struggle.
or Contact Josh Frydenberg direct:
695 Burke Road,
Camberwell VIC 3124 Australia
Phone: 03 9882 3677
Fax: 03 9882 3773
Parliament House Office
M1:17, Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
Phone: 02 6277 7920
DIY MEDIA As well as writing the letters, we need to spread the word through our personal networks and on social media. Use hashtags #SacredSites #HumanRights #LeardBlockade
Things to consider when writing your letter:
-Ask Minister Josh Frydenberg to protect and act quickly
-The ATSIHP legislation is not about mining, it is the last resort to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage.
-All other sites have been either desecrated or destroyed it is the responsibility to every Australian to protect the cultural heritage of the oldest living culture on the planet Aboriginal culture – and for anyone concerned with human rights, indigenous culture and the environment to save this site before it too is destroyed.