Burial site at odds with re­sort plan

Albany Extra - - News - Toby Hussey

Tra­di­tional landown­ers say a his­toric burial site could be de­stroyed by the de­vel­op­ment of a hol­i­day re­sort near Lake Van­cou­ver.

Glen and Mark Col­bung say they be­lieve the banks of Lake Van­cou­ver con­tain the grave of 19th cen­tury Abo­rig­i­nal tribal healer and rel­a­tive Dr Uredale, who is be­lieved to have been un­cle to Abo­rig­i­nal fig­ure Mokare.

When Uredale died in 1830 he was recorded as be­ing buried be­side a pond near Bald Head, pos­si­bly shar­ing the site with his wife and rel­a­tives.

Glen Col­bung be­lieves the pond may have been Lake Van­cou­ver — but he wor­ries the site could be de­stroyed if a 51 hol­i­day-apart­ment re­sort near the lake gets ap­proval.

The plan re­ceived sup­port from the City of Al­bany coun­cil in July and is be­ing con­sid­ered by the WA Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.

“We haven’t re­ally come for­ward in the past on it, but now be­cause de­vel­op­ment is tak­ing place we are con­cerned it could dig up the bones or graves of our an­ces­tors,” he said.

“It is an area that’s re­ally im­por­tant to us.”

The WA Plan­ning Com­mis­sion is re­view­ing the plan and will make a fi­nal de­ci­sion.

Mark Col­bung said he had asked the Depart­ment of Plan­ning, Lands and Her­itage to clas­sify the lake a her­itage site, which if ap­proved means any de­vel­op­ment of the area would need to be pre­ceded by an ar­chae­o­log­i­cal survey of the soil to iden­tify any hu­man re­mains.

Of­fi­cial City of Al­bany doc­u­ments ac­knowl­edge Abo­rig­i­nal arte­facts can be found in the area around

Lake Van­cou­ver, and presently con­trac­tors are re­quired to down tools if hu­man re­mains are un­cov­ered dur­ing de­vel­op­ment.

The Depart­ment was con­tacted for com­ment.

Pic­ture: Lau­rie Ben­son

Mark Col­bung says a burial site at Lake Van­cou­ver is un­der threat.

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