Media Release - 16 May 2022
QYAC agree to halt the build of the whale centre - but the fight is not yet over
The Federal Environment Ministers' office recently notified us that QYAC has undertaken not to take any steps towards constructing the whale interpretive centre (WIC) until the Minister decides on the Quandamooka Truth Embassy’s s10 application.
Our s10 application under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Protection Act asks the Minister to grant long term, permanent protection of the sacred headland at Point Lookout.
In addition, we had lodged an s9 application that called on the Minister to make an urgent declaration to protect the headland from the immediate threat of desecration while we awaited a decision on the s10 application.
However, QYAC’s recent undertaking removes the imminent threat to the headland, and therefore our applicants agreed to withdraw the s9 application. We can, however, resubmit the s9 application at any stage if any imminent threat to the headland reappears.
The s10 application remains under consideration by the Minister.
Earlier this year, the Minister invited all other partner organisations to the WIC to respond to our application. We’ve been informed that QYAC was the only partner organisation that responded, and the other partner organisations - the Queensland State Government and the University of Queensland - chose not to respond to our application.
The Minister's office asked if we would be interested in mediation in an attempt to resolve the matters raised in our application. After discussions with our legal team, our eight applicants have agreed to the mediation.
We will endeavour to provide updates to our supporters as the mediation process and the s10 application progress.
Advice from our legal team remains vital to our work to protect the sacred headland. They continue to work tirelessly behind the scenes, and the costs of their services need to be met. If you are interested in contributing to our legal costs, please check out our GoFundMe. Every dollar is greatly appreciated!
You might recall, in June last year, the Quandamooka Truth Embassy made a submission to the Federal Juukan Gorge enquiry to draw attention to the cultural heritage issues we are experiencing on the Island. More recently, we have spent time collating a detailed submission for the Queensland’s Aboriginal Cultural Heritage legislation review. We will share our submission with our supporters once they are made public. We would again like to thank all those that have provided continuous support to the Quandamooka Truth Embassy and our ongoing fight to protect our sacred headland.