Santos deny claims contractors used sacred site as toilet

Santos has hit back at claims it used a scared Indigenous site as a rubbish dump, stating there is no evidence to support the claim, despite local Indigenous groups saying contactors used the site as a toilet.

The statement comes after The Port Curtis Coral Coast Native Title Group accused the gas giant of dumping construction spoil on an ancient gathering spot near Gladstone.

PCCC group spokesman Nat Minniecon said the company “breached our cultural heritage without having any of our people out there to monitor, and they've basically destroyed the site”.

Minniecon labelled the damage as the "ultimate sign of disrespect" saying workers were also using the site as a toilet, SBS reported.

He said the company had breached Native Title Land Use Agreement and said heritage checks had not been substantial.

However in a statement sent to Australian Mining, Santos denies any wrongdoing.

“There is no evidence to support the claim,” the company said.

“The claim was made by a disgruntled faction within the Port Curtis Coral Coast (PCCC) Native Title Group, which is in dispute with Santos GLNG over a completely unreasonable compensation claim.

“Santos GLNG remains compliant with its obligations under the Native Title Act, and its commitments contained in the Cultural Heritage Management Plan."

The Queensland Gas Corporation said a cultural heritage agreement with traditional owners was registered in 2010 and a Native Title Land Use Agreement in January 2011.

The statement said that "under these agreements, Indigenous representatives lead cultural heritage surveys before any ground is disturbed" and they had “recorded no Aboriginal cultural heritage sites in their surveys.”

However the Traditional Owner groups are considering legal action.

Native title claimant Cherissma Blackman said the companies involved in building the massive LNG plants were “totally ignorant about the environmental and cultural heritage damage they cause”.

Blackman said the PCCC was considering joining other groups in Queensland affected by CSG activity.

“This coal seam gas industry goes across a lot of our mobs from out west….and we’d like to form some kind of alliance in taking Santos further with these breaches."


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