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Works come to halt on $1.6 billion bypass project

Protesters perform cultural rituals near Charlton.
Protesters perform cultural rituals near Charlton. Charlotte Lam

A COURT has ordered works to cease at two sites on the $1.6 billion Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project.

An injunction was granted by the Land Court on Wednesday afternoon against Nexus Delivery after an application was made by Adrian Beattie, a member of the Western Wakka Wakka people.

The stop work order was issued under Section 32 of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003.

It covers construction works near what indigenous groups say are bora rings near Charlton and an ancient lookout near Murphys Creek.

A spokesman from the Land Court said the injunction extended until 6pm on Monday.

A second hearing will take place at the court at 2.30pm on Monday.

PROTEST EXPLAINED

>> Why the Western Wakka Wakka are protesting

>> Bora rings explained

>> The ancient 'lookout'

Mr Beattie represented himself at court and costs have been reserved.

The parties have been urged to meet and discuss their differences.

The hearing comes after protests at the two sites by indigenous groups.

The Department of Transport and Main Roads has not responded to requests for comment.

A spokesman for the department said last week its contractor Nexus was operating under a Cultural Heritage Management Agreement established under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management 2003 with the Western Wakka Wakka.

"Under Nexus' Cultural Heritage Management Agreement, officially signed by signatories of the Western Wakka Wakka people, permission was granted to proceed with the works."

The injunction only applies to the two sites and works are continuing elsewhere along the project corridor.

Topics:  toowoomba toowoomba second range crossing


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