Santos GLNG cops attack over cultural issues

PEOPLE POWER: Neville Johnson, applicant for the PCCC claim, leads the protest.
PEOPLE POWER: Neville Johnson, applicant for the PCCC claim, leads the protest. Scott Sawyer GLAPROT

GLADSTONE CBD was treated to a taste of people power on Friday morning as the Port Curtis Coral Coast Native Title Group took its fight against Santos GLNG to the streets.

The local indigenous group was venting its frustrations at the alleged desecration of a significant aboriginal site by the global corporation.

A Santos GLNG spokesman admitted there had been an issue regarding the clearing of a site without approval from a cultural heritage compliance officer.

"A contractor building Santos GLNG's 420km underground gas transmission pipeline has cleared six small laydown areas without a cultural heritage compliance officer present," the spokesman said.

"Santos GLNG immediately took steps to rectify it, including carrying out a five-day detailed assessment of the cleared material and have employed two more Aboriginal compliance officers directly from the PCCC for the remainder of the pipeline construction."

Applicant for the PCCC claim, Kerry Blackman said the indigenous community was disappointed at the way the situation had been handled.

"The site was identified in an orchestrated survey implemented by Santos and managed by Santos and they didn't adhere to their own report and put a bulldozer straight through a significant site, which identified about a 200-artefact scatter and subsequently used it as a rubbish dump," Mr Blackman said.

"Supposedly PCCC people were involved but it was an afterthought."

Santos GLNG said it was working with PCCC to review its current procedures.

Mr Blackman called on Santos GLNG to come back to the negotiating table and work out some recompense for the people.