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A far-west New South Wales Indigenous elder wants assurances a proposed wind farm development won’t impact Aboriginal artefacts in the Silverton area, west of Broken Hill.
The wind farm’s developer, AGL, last night held its first community meeting in seven months to talk with residents.
The project is still stalled while the future of the renewable energy target remains uncertain.
At the meeting Broken Hill Local Aboriginal Land Council chairwoman, Maureen O’Donnell, raised concerns with AGL about the preservation of local cultural artefacts.
She said the company should hold face-to-face discussions with traditional owners.
“I don’t like letters, I like to talk face to face, I’ve said that in there I’ll say it again,” she said.
“They should acknowledge the Aboriginal people and the traditional owners and make it their business to come and talk to us.
“I’m concerned for the country, I don’t know much about wind farms I must admit. Whether they’re a good thing or not, I am concerned about my country.”
Ms O’Donnell said her mother grew up on a station in the region and that all parts of the Broken Hill region are culturally important to the Barkindji and Wilyakali people – something she believed AGL needed to recognise.
“[AGL] haven’t been talking to us much and we’ve got a lot of catching up to do,” she said.
“But they gave a commitment today at this meeting to talk to us because there’s a lot of sites out there and I’m concerned that they just get destroyed.”
Silverton residents remained concerned about the proximity of the proposed wind turbines to the township, and were calling for AGL to commit to a six kilometre buffer zone.
AGL has been contacted for comment.
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