Protests Continue At Queensland Indigenous Site Marked For New Housing Development
Protesters have vowed to do whatever it takes stop houses being built on "aboriginal land" surrounding one of the first mission sites in Queensland.
They have been trying to stop the development of a 925-lot housing estate around the former Deebing Creek Mission and cemetery near Ipswich.
It is an emotional issue for those who have returned again to stand their ground in Deebing Heights, a day after a least one protester was hauled away by police.
Deebing Creek Mission descendent and protest organiser Wade Thompson said they will do "whatever it takes" to stop the desecration of traditional lands.
"It was one of the first mission sites in Queensland. It's where my great great grandparents were born and raised, it's where they were buried and got married.
"It's aboriginal land, it always has been."
The mission operated between 1887 and 1915 before relocating to nearby Purga.
Mr Thompson said there was anecdotal evidence a group of school children and their teacher were massacred at Deebing Creek in the late 1890s.
Yuggera woman Karen Coghill says the land is covered by two cultural heritage protection acts and will seek answers into how it came to be sold off.
"We are demanding an inquiry into all those parties who sanctioned the sale of this land," she said.
"How did land that was allocated to our people right from the start of the 20th Century, now turn around and we're looking at a proposed housing development?
"Who authorised all this?"
A truckload of camp equipment taken away on Wednesday will be returned to the protesters after a meeting between them and police.
They have also been allowed to access the land again.
Development company Frasers Property Australia has held mediation talks with the Yuggera Ugarapul people and promised no infrastructure would be built on the sacred sites.
But Mr Thompson said the housing estate was not "culturally acceptable" to them.
"There has got to be something more culturally appropriate to do here than just build houses and put up some monument," he said.
"It is a part of our history - white and black history. There are far more valuable educational purposes for this site than what they are proposing."
The group has urged the state government to buy back the land so they become caretakers.
But a Queensland government spokesperson said there are no plans to acquire any additional land in this area.