Federal application lodged - Quandamooka community another step closer to protecting sacred site on North Stradbroke Island
Yesterday, members of the Quandamooka community lodged an application that could stop the controversial whale centre development on North Stradbroke Island for good.
The legal team representing eight Quandamooka Elders have made an application to Federal Environment Minister, the Hon Sussan Ley for an emergency declaration under sections 9 and 10 of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act.
If the Minister makes the declaration, the community is a step closer to long term, permanent protection of the area.
Earlier this year, Minister Ley made a declaration under the Act to protect the sacred Wiradjuri women’s site from the development of a go-kart track at Mount Panorama.
For the last few years, community members of North Stradbroke Island have been campaigning against the development of the whale centre because of the significant risk it poses to sacred cultural heritage as well as environmental concerns.
In February, the community set up the Quandamooka Truth Embassy only days before construction of the whale centre was due to commence. The physical presence of the Embassy is the sole reason construction on the site has not proceeded to date.
This application comes only months after representatives from the Quandamooka Embassy made a submission to the Joint Standing Committee Inquiry into the destruction of the 46,000-year-old Juukan Gorge. Their submission included a call for a Royal Commission into the operations and powers of native title representative bodies. Quandamooka native title representative body, QYAC, is a project partner to the whale centre.
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