$80k fine reminds company to check for artefacts

A MORANBAH company was fined $80,000 last week after it was found to have disturbed culturally significant Aboriginal artefacts from June 2009 to August last year.

MCG Quarries Pty Ltd was charged with one count of failing to comply with its cultural heritage duty of care under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 after a Department of Environment and Resource Management investigation late last year discovered 30-35 artefacts, mainly stone items, were disturbed.

State Minister for Natural Resources Rachel Nolan said the company was "of high cultural significance" to the local indigenous community, and between June 26, 2009, and August 25, 2010, used "machinery to construct a track from an existing quarry to a sand extraction quarry".

"In August 2010, a cultural heritage officer discovered that Aboriginal artefacts had been disturbed by machinery on the track," Ms Nolan said.

"MCG Quarries did not undertake a survey to find the location or extent of artefacts, did not consult with local cultural heritage staff or the local indigenous community and did not have an approved cultural heritage management plan in place."

The company was also ordered to pay legal costs to the amount of $2402.31.

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