‘Bora ring’ built in 2020 used to disrupt Gympie Bypass
A clash between protesters and the Queensland State Government over the future of the s0-called Gympie Pyramid site has been avoided today, with work at the section of the $1 billion Section D of the Cooroy to Curra Bypass on pause until a ruling is handed down on an Indigenous claim for cultural protection under Federal law.
Protesters fighting to stop the destruction of the site, also called Djaki Kundu, issued a call-out for support on social media on Sunday night saying they had not yet been given word the site would remain untouched on Monday, May 10.
"We hope that DTMR are leaving their decision until the last minute just to annoy us, however we can't be sure they are not intending to move in with their bulldozers," a post on the Kabi Dreaming Facebook page said.
Just before 9am on Monday, an update said work would remain suspended "until Minister (Sussan) Ley makes her Determinations in keeping with the ATSIHPA (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection) Act".
The claim was lodged with Ms Ley's office in January following a failed attempt to secure an injunction to halt work on the Bypass in Brisbane's Supreme Court last November.
The site has been at the centre of an ongoing dispute between members of Gympie's Indigenous community and the State Government.
It has been subject to claims it is a sacred cultural site, a position disputed by the Transport and Main Roads Department and State Transport Minister Mark Bailey, who said it had been thoroughly investigated with the help of the region's native title holders since 2014.
Last month, Greens Senator Larissa Waters visited the site at Rocky Ridge, and proclaimed its potential destruction "unacceptable".
The senator's visit followed earlier criticism from Queensland Greens MP Amy McMahon, an attack rejected outright by Mr Bailey, who late last week posted his February 25 letter to the Greens MP claiming her initial correspondence about the site contained "several assertions and factual inaccuracies".
He pointed to multiple investigations at the site, including one in 1976 by archaeologist Professor Michael Morwood in his role as regional archaeologist for the Queensland State Archaeology Branch.
Mr Bailey said in the letter when no tangible evidence of cultural heritage was identified the claim for protection was expanded to include newly identified sites and items "including a supposed 'bora ring' that was in fact constructed in October 2020".
Even without this evidence, however, "a large portion of the site has been fenced off so the area can be preserved during construction of the Gympie Bypass", the minister said.
Originally published as 'Bora ring' built in 2020 used to disrupt Gympie Bypass