Indigenous consultants are leading calls for an immediate halt to construction of Sydney’s new light rail after the discovery of Indigenous artefacts on the site.
20,000 artefacts have already been found and experts say tens of thousands more could soon be uncovered.
The discovery, including cutting tools and spears, appears to show contact with Indigenous people from the Hunter Valley region.
Darug Elder Uncle Des Dyer has called for a halt to construction after the discovery [Image: Christopher Pearce, Fairfax Media]
“Each area has its own stones and on our song-lines one group would come down to us and they’d bring their stones and tools with them to swap and we’d give them ours and they’d take it back where they came from,” Darug Elder Uncle Des Dyer told 702 ABC Sydney.
“I’d like to see it stopped and the area classified as an Aboriginal heritage area.”
Stones discovered at the construction site in Randwick [Image: Christopher Pearce, Fairfax Media]
Greens MP David Shoebridge went a step further, saying, “"It's downright criminal that what may well be one of the most important recent heritage finds is being literally torn up without even the most rudimentary consideration."
Despite acknowledging the significance of the artefacts, Transport for NSW hasn’t confirmed if it would comply with requests for a halt to construction.
The Sydney Light Rail construction site in Randwick where thousands of Indigenous artefacts have been discovered [Image: Christopher Pearce, Fairfax Media]
"Archaeological work undertaken in late 2015 and January 2016 identified a high density of Aboriginal artefacts on a specific section of the Randwick Stabling Yard site," Transport for NSW said in a written statement.
"All work that has occurred on the site since the artefacts were found has been in consultation. Transport for NSW and ALTRAC Light Rail are investigating, in conjunction with the Aboriginal representatives, opportunities to recognise the items found on site, for example in displays or education programs."
Spear heads discovered at the construction site in Randwick [Image: Christopher Pearce, Fairfax Media]