Significant Cultural Site at Stockland’s Foreshore Coomera

Jabree Ltd has completed a staged cultural heritage assessment for Stockland’s proposed Foreshore Coomera development. The residential development proposal covers some 98-hectares, however around 51 hectares of this land will remain undisturbed for ecological reasons.

Jabree’s staged assessment of the potential disturbance footprint involved a preliminary survey in May, and two Subsurface Cultural Heritage Investigations taking place between June and August 2017.

Over the course of the staged assessment, 181 artefacts were located on the ridge above Oaky Creek. The artefact scatter boundary spans approximately 45,524 sqm, with a concentration area covering 25,658 sqm. Jabree’s second subsurface excavation spanned 22 days from 17th July – 15th August 2017 to identify and determine the extent of this highly significant Aboriginal Cultural site.

An average find of 1 artefact per square metre was recorded from the total test pit excavations, which suggests there is potential for the concentration area alone to hold up to 25,000 artefacts.

The artefact scatter holds high cultural significance to the Traditional Owners of the area, and to the cultural importance of the Coomera area.  Jabree’s assessment of significance is based on the sheer extent of the artefact scatter; its variety of artefacts and material type.  The materials were likely transported in from traditional stone quarries at places such as Wongawallan and Birnam Range, Beaudesert. The size of the artefact scatter and variety of materials suggests traditional camping took place within the boundaries of the project area, with Traditional Pathways crossing the Coomera landscape.

The project area as a whole is assessed as having high potential for further significant in-situ Aboriginal archaeological deposits, however, no further Aboriginal cultural heritage assessment is required outside the identified land disturbance footprint.

The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003(Qld) places all persons in Queensland under a duty of care to take all reasonable and practicable measures to ensure they do not harm Aboriginal cultural heritage whenever they undertake an activity.

In consideration of the ACHA and the assessment findings, Jabree has made a number of recommendations for the Stockland Foreshore development at Coomera, including:

  • establishing a Cultural Heritage Management Agreement with a clear framework of protocols for the duration of the Project; and
  • ongoing consultation with Stockland regarding future activities, which involve
    • land disturbance outside the current scope of work;
    • future placement of interpretive signage in community parks on-site, and
    • repatriation of the identified cultural material to a suitable keeping place on site following its analysis.

For more information about this project, please contact us.

Feature image: Jabree Ltd excavation works at Stockland Foreshore Development Coomera, Queensland.

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