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Indigenous group calls for rocks to be moved back

AN INDIGENOUS group has demanded that artefacts removed from a site at Bingera Mill two weeks ago be taken back.

The artefacts, a group of four large rocks, bear marks and etchings made by indigenous people going back thousands of years.

Under the guidance of the Indigenous Wellbeing Centre (IWC) and elders of the Terabalang Bunda, Gooreng-Gooreng and Gurang people, the rocks were removed.

The plan was they would be housed at the centre's new headquarters.

But Gidarjil Development Corporation managing director Kerry Blackman said Bundaberg Sugar and IWC had no right to move the rocks.

He said Gidarjil had been recognised as the cultural heritage body for the area.

Mr Blackman said the IWC and Bundaberg Sugar had been told to leave the rocks where they were until proper arrangements could be made.

"They now realise they shouldn't have done it in the first place," he said.

"Bingera Mill needs to work with us."

Mr Blackman said no one should move such a significant artefact without ensuring it was not damaged.

He said Gidarjil was working with the Queensland Museum on cultural heritage items in the area.

Part of Gidarjil's agenda was to discuss a place in the region where they could be kept.

"They can't just be manhandled inappropriately," he said.

"There's got to be greater respect from the wider community towards indigenous heritage."

Gidarjil chairman Colin Johnson said there were several similar artefacts scattered throughout the region.

Bundaberg Sugar chose not to comment on the issue.

An IWC spokesman could not be contacted for comment.

Topics:  aboriginal culture, archaeology




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