The injunction was made following protests at two sites on the project's corridor.
The injunction was made following protests at two sites on the project's corridor. Charlotte Lam

Bypass dispute: Aborigines allege breach by Nexus

BREAKING: A dispute over the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing has heated up, with an aboriginal group alleging Nexus has breached a court order.

The Land Court granted an interim injunction to Western Wakka Wakka man Adrian Beattie on Wednesday afternoon.

The injunction is active until 6pm on Monday, October 17 and a review of the matter will be heard at the court at 2.30pm that day.

The injunction covers work foreshadowed in a letter dated September 28 from Nexus Delivery to Margaret McLeod, Sandra Bauwens and Adrian Beattie Western Wakka Wakka Aboriginal Party, known as Exhibit "AJB 15".

Mr Beattie said he had requested the injunction to preserve what he says are bora rings in Charlton and an ancient lookout at Murphys Creek.

He claims works on the Toowoomba Range itself are also covered by the injunction, including works near the New England Highway at Mount Kynoch.


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Mr Beattie is alleging Nexus has breached the injunction by continuing works near the New England Hwy.

That claim has been denied by Nexus.

Mr Beattie said the Toowoomba Range held great cultural importance for aborigines.

"I've got issues with them cutting a hole through the Range, that was made in the dream time and is very important to us," Mr Beattie said on Wednesday.

Chris Conlon, who has been working with Mr Beattie, said the Western Wakka Wakka people had video evidence of a bulldozer and excavator working near the New England Hwy.

The Chronicle has not seen the video.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads, which is in charge of the $1.6 billion project, said in a statement this morning: "Transport and Main Roads and its contractor Nexus will follow any orders from Monday's court proceedings and undertake any necessary investigations.

"There are no works under way at the sites subject to this week's temporary injunction.

"Works on project sites not subject to the injunction are proceeding as planned."

The injunction was made following protests at both culturally-significant sites.

Mr Beattie has maintained he does not want to stop the project and his main interest is in protecting the sites.

He said the works by Nexus were in "blatant disregard of the court order" and said he was contacting police.

The Chronicle understands Nexus was served with a breach notice by Mr Beattie this morning.

Nexus said in a statement yesterday afternoon: "Nexus confirmed today that the Land Court had granted a temporary injunction until Monday, 17 October at 6pm, stopping work at some sites along the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project corridor.

"The matter is listed for a hearing on 17 October 2016 when the court will consider whether to extend the temporary injunction past Monday afternoon.

"Nexus have not proceeded with works at the areas in question, however, all other works are continuing as planned across the project corridor.

"Nexus is confident that due caution has been taken with all cultural heritage sites on the project and that obligations under the Queensland Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act (2003) have been met.

"Nexus has worked with Traditional Owners to identify and protect culturally significant artefacts and places for more than 12 months, completing survey and mitigation works in preparation for the TSRC.

"We look forward to the outcome of proceedings on Monday as to whether an injunction is granted and if so Nexus will follow the orders and undertake any necessary investigations."

Mr Conlon said he wanted Nexus to "sit down and talk" with the Western Wakka Wakka people.

"The judge told them to do that, but they haven't yet," he said.

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