Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation (EMAC) has expressed its opposition the proposal for a Panmure bluestone quarry and the need for a cultural heritage management plan
In a letter sent to Moyne Shire Council, chief executive Marcus Clarke said the proponents of the quarry had not made any contact with the corporation, despite the proposed site being situated in close proximity to cultural heritage areas; the Hopkins River, and Framlingham Forest.
"This failure (to deal with EMAC) has meant that no regard has been given to the impact of the Basalt Quarry on Maar cultural heritage," he said.
"We have a deep love for Country and a duty toward it; it is akin to family for us.
"We owe is to our ancestors and to our future generations to ensure Maar Country and heritage are managed appropriately."
Eastern Maar cultural landscapes general manager John Clarke is urging the proponents to contact the corporation.
"We would certainly encourage the conversation when high impact activity is involved," he said.
"Our role is to help the community understand the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Act and the heritage in that area.
"There are several activities that can be undertaken and Aboriginal Victoria has a series of questions to determine whether a cultural heritage plan is needed in a case dependent on people's interpretation of a question.
"While it's clear in this case the proponent would not trigger a cultural heritage plan because it is not in cultural heritage sensitive area but when looking at the surrounds of the proposed quarry, we believe a cultural heritage plan is needed."
The proposed quarry site and its immediate surrounds do not sit within a designated area of cultural heritage sensitivity and so Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) is not mandated.
Running across the northern edge of the property, within 50 metres of the proposed quarry, is the Craigieburn Creek.
The creek is not recognised under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Register and Information System (ACHRIS), but Eastern Maar believes it of cultural significant to the Maar people as it runs through Framlingham Forest and spills out to the Hopkins River.
"The ACHRIS is a database of known and recorded Aboriginal heritage sites," Mr Clarke said.
"We know it is incomplete and may have less than three per cent of what is out there recorded.
"We urge any proponent to start a dialogue with us so we can protect our cultural heritage."
Mr Clarke said the plans give certainty to members of Aboriginal corporations that their heritage is being considered.
"CHMPs are only one step in a whole range of planning permits," he said.
"I have an obligation to cultural heritage and we believe it is a fundamental human right for heritage to be considered.
"It's also about promoting that value with the broader community. Look at Moyjil for example; it's a place of cultural significance the whole community can value.
"This is about protecting and promoting our heritage to the broader community."
Save the Hopkins River - Stop the quarry spokesman Geoff Rollinson said the group has lodged a Melbourne heritage adviser's report with Moyne Shire Council demonstrating the need for a CHMP after her assessment of the proposal.
Eastern Maar was contacted by Moyne Shire Council to confirm they had received their letter.
The quarry has been approved by state authorities and council plans to host a community consultation meeting about the project on November 26.
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