Aboriginal group labels miners predatory

Mining companies have been accused of circumventing Queensland Aboriginal heritage laws.

An indigenous academic has claimed that the Queensland Gas Corporation (QGC) has destroyed aboriginal stone arrangements at Kogan, near Dalby, the Daily Mercury has reported.

Dr. Jillian Marsh slammed the native heritage laws, stating that they were tokenistic and toothless.

She went on to say that miners take a “divide-and-conquer” approach to negotiations with indigenous communities, similar to the claims levelled at Fortescue Metals and its current negotiations in West Australia’s Pilbara region.

"This pattern of behaviour by the mining industry is really very predatory," Marsh told AAP.

"They go in and cut private, secret deals.

"The people who benefit from it are the ones with the knowledge and information, and the rest are left out and disempowered.

Fortescue has hit back at the recent claims that it has dealt underhandedly in negotiations with Aboriginal groups, releasing video footage of a recent meeting.

Aborigine Neil Stanley and local graziers Rob and Sharon Lohse also accused QGC of damaging the sacred site and raised further concerns about conflicts of interest.

Stanley said that some of the indigenous representatives dealing with the company are also employed as “Aboriginal liaison officers” for the coal seam gas company.

However, the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) have said that QGC has met its duty of care under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act.

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