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Environment Minister Sussan Ley (left) has rejected an application for an emergency preservation declaration on the “Gympie Pyramid” made by campaigners like Wit-Boooka, with her department saying the Minister is not satisfied the area is a “significant aboriginal area” under the cultural heritage protection act.
Environment Minister Sussan Ley (left) has rejected an application for an emergency preservation declaration on the “Gympie Pyramid” made by campaigners like Wit-Boooka, with her department saying the Minister is not satisfied the area is a “significant aboriginal area” under the cultural heritage protection act.

Ley rules on request to save ‘Gympie Pyramid’

The campaign to save the "Gympie Pyramid" from the $1 billion bypass has been dealt a blow with Federal Environment Minister Sussan ley rejecting an application for emergency protection of the site.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment said Ms Ley decided against making the declaration as she was not satisfied the area was a "significant Aboriginal area" for the purposes of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act.

Campaigners for the preservation of the site, also called Djaki Kundu, applied to Ms Ley's office for the declaration in January after failing to secure an injunction to halt the work last November in Brisbane's Supreme Court.

The site has been at the centre of an ongoing dispute between protesters, the Greens the State Government over claims it has significant Indigenous cultural heritage.

The "pyramid" will now be assessed under another section of the act to determine if it should be afforded protection.

Greens Senator Larissa Waters (second from right) is among those calling for the site to be preserved from destruction. Photo: Kristen Camp
Greens Senator Larissa Waters (second from right) is among those calling for the site to be preserved from destruction. Photo: Kristen Camp

The spokesman said Ms Ley had nominated someone to compile a report on the site located between the Gympie Connection and Rocky Ridge roads "as she is required by law to do before making a decision under section 10".

"The reporter has commenced consulting relevant stakeholders and will report to Minister Ley on a range of matters including significance of the area to Aboriginal people and threats to the area."

The State Government and Transport Minister Mark Bailey have said multiple investigations over the past four decades have failed to turn up any tangible evidence to support claims of cultural heritage.

The State Government says the majority of the site will remain untouched by the Bypass despite no tangible evidence of significant cultural heritage being found over four decades of investigation.
The State Government says the majority of the site will remain untouched by the Bypass despite no tangible evidence of significant cultural heritage being found over four decades of investigation.

A TMR spokesman said last week one part claimed to be under threat from the bypass, a bora ring, "was not found during previous cultural heritage investigations with the Kabi Kabi First Nations and appeared as recently as October 2020".

However TMR has changed the original plans for the Bypass to now avoid the majority of the site, which is fenced off and left untouched.

Those fighting for the site's preservation want the route to be moved even further.

Last month proposed construction of a Go-Kart track at Bathurst's Mount Panorama was halted following declarations under the ATSIHP Act by the Federal Government.

Originally published as Ley rules on request to save 'Gympie Pyramid'



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