Last Thursday, traditional owners, Yamatji Nation, led a smoking ceremony at the Waitsia Gas Project Stage 2 site located approximately 15km south east of Dongara. The ceremony, jointly hosted by MEPAU and Clough, was an important part of preparing the site for handover to Clough, the lead contractor, to start early earthworks for the Temporary Construction Village and Waitsia Gas Plant.
Approximately 24 people representing a mix of organisations attended, including:
• Traditional owners, the Yamatji Nation
• Landowners of the farm where the construction site is located
• Shire of Irwin
• Mid West Chamber of Commerce and Industry
• Garla Barna, a Mid West indigenous owned company that won the bulk earthworks contract
• MEPAU and Clough operational, project and corporate personnel
After MEPAU and Clough welcomed participants to the site, the traditional owners explained that the herbal smoke has cleansing properties and the ability to ward off bad spirits. They then walked past each participant with the burning acacia branches contained in a bucket to waft the smoke around each person.
Following the moving ceremony, conversations continued while enjoying a picnic lunch and the winter sunshine together.
The site handover to Clough is scheduled to occur in July and Garla Barna will begin the bulk earthworks to kick off the 18-month construction phase.
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