Participants in the Tour De Carmichael. Picture: supplied
Participants in the Tour De Carmichael. Picture: supplied

Protesters putting lives at risk with latest stunt: Bravus

Anti-coal protesters will take part in a Tour De Carmichael 105km bicycle ride to a mine site in Central Queensland in a show of opposition to the project.

More than 100 cyclists left the Gregory Highway on Tuesday morning to begin their ride to the Carmichael mine site.

In a statement, event organisers said the next five days of their journey would include a guided tour of Wangan and Jagalingou country with Coedie McAvoy, as well as passing Bravus Mining and Resources’ Carmichael mine site.

But a Bravus spokeswoman has slammed the group for “putting their own safety and that of our workers at risk”.

She said the bicycle ride would take place along a dirt and gravel road that is used by up to 400 trucks and road-trains everyday.

Participants in the Tour De Carmichael. Picture: supplied
Participants in the Tour De Carmichael. Picture: supplied

“The road that leads out to the mine is regional local council road and consequently does not have dedicated bike lanes that you normally see on suburban roads,” the Bravus spokeswoman said.

“It is not made for bicycles, and even the most experienced cyclists would struggle riding this route safely.

“We have briefed our people and put additional traffic management safeguards in place.

“However, we question whether the organisers have properly assessed the risks that their activity introduces for other road users and themselves.”

Mr McAvoy said the bike ride would bring attention to the “destruction Adani is currently doing on Wangan and Jagalingou country”.

“It will also highlight our culture by going to sites like Twin Hills and the Belyando River. Talking about the significance of these sites is what connects us to our country,” he said.

“We as Wangan and Jagalingou people are obligated to protect our homelands and preserve our culture.”

Participants in the Tour De Carmichael. Picture: supplied
Participants in the Tour De Carmichael. Picture: supplied

The Bravus spokeswoman said Mr McAvoy and his father Adrian Burragubba were not authorised representatives of the majority of Native Title claimants, but Mr Burragubba has strongly denied this claim.

“The claims they are making about our business and the Carmichael Project are incorrect and have been disproved many times,” she said.

“We are very supportive of the Wangan and Jagalingou People undertaking traditional activities and as a responsible landholder we will continue to ensure that when Traditional Owners do wish to access our site or land, they are able to do so in a planned, safe, legal and respectful manner.

“We are dedicated to continuing to work in partnership with all our Traditional Owners, including the Wangan and Jagalingou People, guided by the Indigenous Land Use Agreements.”

Mr Burragubba has hit out at Bravus’ comments, strongly denying they were not Native Title claimants.

He said he was not personally involved in the Tour De Carmichael, but was simply supporting his son.

“(The cyclists) are fully cooperating with police,” he said.

“Police were escorting people. Everyone was complying with the road rules.

“We do have a right to be out there – we are Native Title claimants.

“For Adani to continue badgering us and harassing us as traditional owners – it’s wrong.

“We’re not protesting. We’re asserting our right to be able to coexist with pastoralists.”

This article was updated on May 7 2021 to include Adrian Burragubba’s comments.

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