Curtis Island sacred sites row splits indigenous community

Curtis Island.
Curtis Island.

A SPLIT appears to be mounting within the local indigenous community over allegations LNG projects are damaging sacred sites on Curtis Island - a claim that has been dismissed by one LNG company as "baseless".

Gurang tribe spokeswoman Cherissma Blackman has made the claims, and said she spoke on behalf of the Port Curtis Coral Coast Native Title Claim group.

But she is not one of the group's six "applicants", or leaders.

Ms Blackman said ceremonial areas had been destroyed and fishing stocks depleted on Curtis Island and around Gladstone Harbour.

"It is part of our traditional cultural heritage," Ms Blackman said.

"All these animals and marine life that exist, they're part of our song lines and story lines.

"We have an obligation to our old people to uphold these song lines and story lines for future generations.

"These companies are totally ignorant about the environmental and cultural heritage damage they cause."

Gurang is one of four tribes launching a class action against Queensland Gas Company, Santos GLNG and Asia Pacific LNG for not upholding an indigenous land use agreement.

Ms Blackman, who lives in Yeppoon, said she was part of the preliminary stage class action claim.

She said promised compensation to the group from LNG companies was three years overdue.

Indigenous leader and elected group applicant Richard Johnson said process should be followed.

"As an individual, I disagree with Ms Blackman's statements," he said.

A statement from QGC said allegations that aboriginal cultural heritage sites had been destroyed by the Queensland Curtis LNG Project were baseless.

"QGC, as developer of the project, agreed cultural heritage management plans with the Port Curtis Coral Coast Aboriginal Community, the group officially recognised as representing the Gladstone region under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act," the statement read.

"This agreed plan was registered with the Queensland Government in April 2010, as required under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act.

"The community and QGC also agreed an indigenous land use agreement which was formally registered with the National Native Title Tribunal in January 2011.

"Under these agreements, indigenous representatives lead cultural heritage surveys before any ground is disturbed.

"They recorded no aboriginal cultural heritage sites in their surveys.

"Cultural heritage studies from 1993 to 1997 and in 2001 also found no evidence of culturally significant sites.

"The area on which LNG projects are being built on Curtis Island was used to run livestock from 1862 and to dump rubbish, the latter of which QGC and other companies have rehabilitated as part of their contribution to the Curtis Island Environmental Management Precinct, which covers 4590ha."

Topics:  curtis island indigenous lng qgc resources

'F*** off dogs': Crash survivor strikes paramedic

PARMEDIC HIT: Bonnie Brodie assaulted a paramedic called to a crash scene to help her.

Car crash survivor hits paramedic, kicks cop, gets jail - suspended.

Hairdresser heartbreak: Emotional toll of a Gladstone salon

Jes Morison

'WHAT HAPPENS in the salon stays in the salon.'

Suspected arson at CQ schools investigated by police

Police are investigating a fire that destroyed a building at Biloela State High School overnight.

Police investigate other reports of attempted arson at the school

Local Partners

'Best markets yet': Big sales at CBD markets: Photos

THE smell of fresh flowers, fruit and vegetables waft through the Gladstone CBD for the second City Farmer's Markets today.

Your chance to win

Learn More

Former Split Enz front man Tim Finn finds new niche

Singer Tim Finn has written the music for theatre production Ladies in Black.

Musician finds his way to theatre

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

Leonardo DiCaprio nearly drowned while filming

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio

Oscar winner almost drowned in Galapagos

Miranda Kerr to wed next year

Supermodel Miranda Kerr

Supermodel and Snapchat founder to wed

What's on the small screen this week

Georgia Love pictured in a scene from The Bachelorette finale.

TWO big reality shows wrap up this week while

Brad Pitt won't file legal response to divorce petition

Brad reportedly refused to send off the paperwork

Azealia Banks won't take legal action against Russell Crowe

Rapper Azealia Banks

Rapper drops legal action against Russell Crowe

Brad Pitt meets with his kids amid divorce proceedings

Actor Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt has met up with his oldest son Maddox

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

Push to sell homes that flooded Gladstone's market

Suburban housing in Glenvale, Toowoomba, Friday, October 17, 2014. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle

URGENT push to cash-up first home buyers investing in Gladstone.

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.