News

'Gympie Pyramid' sparks Aboriginal land rights claim

SACRED LAND: Kabi Kabi land rights activist Wit-booker says the so-called Gympie Pyramid, also known as Rocky Ridge, will be destroyed by Gympie highway by-pass construction, along with irreplaceable Aboriginal artefacts.
SACRED LAND: Kabi Kabi land rights activist Wit-booker says the so-called Gympie Pyramid, also known as Rocky Ridge, will be destroyed by Gympie highway by-pass construction, along with irreplaceable Aboriginal artefacts. Patrick Woods

AN ABORIGINAL land rights claim over the so-called "Gympie Pyramid" has put a potential legal road block in the way of plans for the Bruce Hwy's Gympie bypass.

Also known as Rocky Ridge, the area is noted for evidence of human habitation.

Kabi Kabi activist Wit-booker, says plans to bulldoze the area for a new Bruce Hwy breach international conventions on cultural genocide.

He says artefacts on the site, including grinding stones, are the work of his ancestors and show a strong and recurring Aboriginal identification with the site.

GYMPIE Pyramid artefacts, attributed by some to ancient Egyptians or unrecorded Chinese or Italian settlers, are really highly significant Aboriginal artefacts, Kabi Kabi activist Wit-booka said yesterday.

Also known as Southside resident Gary Tomlinson, he says he has taken back his Aboriginal identity and says the land at Rocky Ridge shows important signs of Aboriginal land management denied by people who wish to portray his people as primitive.

The area and its artefacts are vital to the wellbeing of his people and the preservation of their culture, he said.

Rocks in the hillside show indentations which he says have been worn into the solid stone by centuries of use for grinding grass and other seed grains to make the original damper.

He says he is determined to stop the "cultural genocide" which has hurt Gympie region's Aboriginal people.

"After 200 years, we have nothing," he said.

Charged with trespassing and obstructing police over an incident at another claimed sacred site at Belli Park, Mr Booker says the charges against him were discontinued.

The site was a traditional gathering site for the Bunya nut festivities, held in hinterland areas when the nuts of the Bunya Pine were in season.

He says one elder in his group was refused permission to use a toilet and told to "go in the bush" while guards made videos on their mobile phones.

"We're only following the law," he said yesterday. "The government's not."

He and his supporters claim the authority of international law on the treatment of indigenous peoples and say too many Australians seem to think those laws and treaties only apply to other countries.

He also quotes 19th Century British colonial law, specifically the Pacific Islanders Protection Act of 1875, which refers to the "Australasian colonies" and guarantees the sovereign rights of indigenous people.

More recently came the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, adopted in 1948 as part of the human rights guarantees following on from the Allied victory over Nazism and related philosophies.

It led to Australia's Genocide Convention Act of 1949 which outlawed genocide in Australia and included in its definition "causing mental harm to members of the group, inflicting conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction, or forcibly transferring children of the group to another group." Wit-booka says he is campaigning to preserve Kabi Kabi culture, including preventing the state government from bulldozing an area he says is a sacred site.

Gympie Times

Topics:  editors picks land rights native title



Our six art gallery picks for a creative day out

YOU may not associate Brisbane with a burgeoning art scene, but you’d be mistaken.

Six hideaway bars to escape winter chill

The Gresham's charm will win you over before your first sip.

THESE are the perfect places to hang this winter.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Date nights under $50

Nothing is more romantic than a picnic with a cracking view.

NOT every date has to cost you a bomb.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Euthanised pony confirmed to have had Hendra

The AVA has said a case at Kilkivan where the owner of a sick horse falsified horse health declaration documentation, underscored the need for vaccinating horses against Hendra virus.

Report also reveals owner of sick horse at Kilkivan falsified papers

4 Ingredients author to talk at Gympie Library

SHORT CUTS: 4 Ingredients author Michelle McCosker will share her secrets at Gympie Library on June 15.

Kim McCosker helps make meal time easier

'Black dog' police deaths spark call for memorial

Retired Sunshine Coast police officer Ian Browne supports a push to have officers who take their own lives included on state and national memorials.

'We should honour them': Push for memorials gains momentum

Local Partners

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

SUNSHINE Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice nearly saw her form a duo with her battle round opponent.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!