WA’s Department of Water and Environmental Regulation has today issued a stop work order to Shanghai Zenith in response to their unauthorised land clearing on Yakka Munga Station.

The “Vegetation Conservation Notice” issued by the Department said “a clearing permit had not been granted for the clearing” of native vegetation and that the clearing was “unauthorised … under section 51C of the Environmental Protection Act 1986.”

The notice also said Shanghai Zenith must stop any unlawful land clearing on Yakka Munga Station.

This comes after Traditional Owners protested yesterday morning in front of the Yakka Munga gates to ensure no workers would gain entry and continue the unauthorised clearing.

Nyikina Senior Elder John Watson said he was hurt by the unlawful clearing of his country.

“It’s gotta stop. It’s gotta come to … some understanding,” Mr Watson said.

During yesterday’s protest, Traditional Owner Rosita Shaw discovered that boab trees had been cleared, despite being reassured that no boabs would be bulldozed.

Ms Shaw said the site manager for the clearing, Paul Tanner from Charles Hull Contracting, told her no boabs would be removed.

Boab trees are sacred to Nyikina people, they have their own song and hold special meaning.

The trees also provide food, medicine and material for making artefacts.

Charles Hull Contracting is the same company responsible for transporting the Gija Jumulu (boab tree) to Kings Park in 2008.

Gija Jumulu being transported by Charles Hull Contracting. Photo via Charles Hull Contracting website.

“What were they thinking?” said Ms Shaw, shocked at finding the boab in a pile of cleared vegetation.

NIT attempted to contact Shanghai Zenith and site manager Paul Tanner however no response was received by time of publication.

By Hannah Cross