Australia: Court orders Ostwald Construction to pay [AUD]$430,000 for desecrating site sacred to indigenous people

Author: Stuart Layt, Brisbane Times, Published on: 6 March 2019

"'Gross negligence': Company cleared 'sacred' Indigenous land", 5 March 2019

A construction company has been forced to pay more than $430,000 for failing to protect Indigenous artefacts on its central Queensland quarry site, in what's been described by a judge as "gross negligence."

The Emerald Magistrates Court found Ostwald Construction Materials Pty Ltd cleared large areas of land on the Bottletree Quarry site between 2013 and 2016.

In the process the company cut down a number of Gumbi Gumbi trees which are sacred to the local Karingbal people, as well as unearthing and displacing multiple Indigenous artefacts.

...Magistrate Catherine Benson acknowledged Ostwald Construction Materials had admitted to fault in the case, but also found the company had dragged its feet in responding to the issue.

...She found the company had caused "deep emotional harm" to the Karingbal people due to the "desecration" of the site.

The company was fined $188,000, and ordered to pay $250,000 to the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnership towards the cost of repairing or restoring the Aboriginal Cultural heritage of the site.

Ostwald Construction Materials Pty Ltd is a subsidiary of construction company Ostwald Bros....

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Related companies: Ostwald Bros.