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'Eternal flame' extinguished at protest camp

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 3 November 2003


Authorities have extinguished a fire known as the eternal flame at an Indigenous protest camp at Lake Cowal in central western New South Wales.

An Aboriginal elder is now threatening to file charges.

The chairman of the Mooka Traditional Owners Council, Neville Williams, is fighting in the courts for native title over the proposed mine site.

Central to his ownership claim is a campsite at Lake Cowal where he has kept an eternal flame burning for three months.

But Mr Williams says this morning two police officers and a fire marshal arrived at his camp and put the fire out due to fears about bushfires.

Mr Williams says he will be seeking to file charges as the fire is part of his religion.

"Our sacred fire, it's for peace and justice and it's a part of our culture," he said.

"And the fire and the land go hand in hand."


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