On the 23rd December 2013, the Planning and Assessment Commission approved the extension of the Rocla, Calga Sand Quarry. The extension of the Calga sand quarry threatens to destroy the cultural landscape in the area, linking to an Aboriginal Women’s site which is within the vicinity of the quarry.
As DLALC operates under the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW ALR Act), one of the functions we adhere to is the following:
“to promote the protection of Aboriginal culture and heritage of Aboriginal persons in its area”.
We are determined to fight against this extension in order to protect our Aboriginal culture from being destroyed in the Calga Peats Ridge area.
The Women’s Site is culturally significant to Aboriginal Women on the Central Coast. As it is a women’s site, there are sensitivity issues in regards to how much information can be displayed and detailed. However, it is important to understand the cultural landscape of the area which includes over 560 registered Aboriginal sites within a 5km radius. These sites range from rock engravings, artefact scatters, stone arrangements, occupation shelters and shelters with art and mythological sites as well as an abundance of natural resources including creeks, flora and fauna.
The quarry will almost surround the site with a deep hole, cutting it off and isolating it from the surrounding cultural landscape, which includes links to surrounding significant Aboriginal sites, the dreaming track and story/song lines which extend beyond the Hawkesbury River, Brisbane Water, Mount White and to one of the most culturally significant places in Australia, Mt Yengo.
In particular, a registered artefact scatter stands to be destroyed by the expansion. As the vegetation is thick in this area, there is a high probability that more sites are yet to be discovered. This cannot and will not happen if the extension goes ahead.
WHAT IS A CULTURAL LANDSCAPE?
An Aboriginal cultural landscape is a place valued by an Aboriginal group (or groups) because of their long and complex relationship with that land. It expresses their unity with the natural and spiritual environment. It embodies their traditional knowledge of spirits places, land uses, and ecology.