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Deliberate damage to midden appalls Worimi managers

Media release: 1 August 2013

Managers of Worimi Conservation Lands, at Stockton north of Newcastle, are appalled at recent vandalism where an Aboriginal midden site that had been fenced off was damaged by at least two quad bike users.

Worimi Board of Management Patrice Manton said it is disturbing and offensive to see the deliberate damage as Worimi Traditional Owners are working to protect midden sites, as they provides a powerful link to previous occupation at Stockton Bight by Worimi people.

“The Worimi lands are Aboriginal land that the Traditional Owners are keen to share with the community,” Patrice said

“Middens contain artefacts and shell accumulations of particular significance to the Worimi people and over the weekend of July 13/14 it appears that someone has gone to a lot of trouble remove the barrier bollards and wire rope protecting the area.

“Tracks show at least two separate vehicles were used to repeatedly drive over the site to damage it.

“In the past vehicles had destroying these middens site by inadvertently driving over them and fencing is necessary to protect them

A ‘Midden Conservation Area’ has been established, to protect one of the largest and most diverse Aboriginal site complexes on the Worimi Conservation Lands.

Vehicle access along the beach front is not affected although people must only on formed trails and keep off the frontal dune.

Vehicles are NOT permitted on the swale or high dune between the Anna Bay and the Lavis entrances. Remain outside any fenced areas. Anyone found driving where they shouldn’t be can expect to be fined. The maximum penalty Harm Aboriginal object - aggravated offence is $1650, 000

The WCL Board of Management is currently preparing a Plan of Management, which will guide how the Worimi Conservation Lands are managed over the next 5-10 years.

Providing for the conservation Aboriginal cultural sites on the co-management lands will be an important part of the plan, which aims to represent a balance between user groups and the protection of Cultural and Environmental values within the park.

Images of damaged midden here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/48646673@N07/sets/72157634754983295/  

Contact: Lawrence Orel

Page last updated: 07 March 2014