Goomeroi People call for a mining freeze on sacred lands

Above: Gomeroi challenge to mining and csg - ABC Tamworth, Kelly Fuller speaks with Michael Anderson

*Goomeroi is also known as Gomeroi, Gomilaroi, Kamilaroi

Transcript from NITV News - Jeremy Geia report, 13 May 2013

The Goomeroi People of New South Wales call for a freeze on all mining and development on their ancestral lands.

More that 400 Native Title claimants met in Tamworth to discuss Goomeroi business.

Representatives said that they are looking at options to stop ministerial decisions which approve mining in the region.

Goomeroi is one of the largest black states in the country.

NITV was given permission to film inside the meeting but it was outside, after the function ended, that the big news of plans to freeze development on Goomeroi country became public.

Anthony Munro, Goomeroi claimant, said that the Goomeroi People will not be silent regarding the issues anymore. Mining is coming to our country and we are going to fight them every step of the way, through the courts, through the protests and through Goomeroi solidarity.

The Goomeroi are concerned that big industries could damage their sacred sites and dreaming places through mining, Coal Seam Gas extraction, excess of water use and clearing.

In what might be the first time in Australia's history, an injunction may be used to stop ministerial powers, both federally and at state levels, that will approve development plans while Native Title is being determined.

Michael Anderson, a Goomeroi elder and spokesperson for the 'Sovereign Union' said Native Title has not been extinguished on underground and surface waters.

"Native Title has never been extinguished on our trees, plants, animals and everything else," He said "We don't care what title you've got but we are not going to let you destroy our connections, our totemic associations and all those things - it'll freeze up everything".

This could lead to the region being temporarily quarantined.

"The implications to the New South Wales Land Council is that the mining explorations that have been applied for, will also be frozen," Mr Anderson said.

The resource rich area of the Goomeroi region is seen by industry as the future backbone of wealth in New South Wales, he said, and he hopes this action will inspire others around the country to also take a lead in determining mining developments.

See related: Native Title claimants want to ban mining by 'Austrailian Mining'