Bones Knob
Telecommunications Tower

Client: Wadjanbarra Tablelands Yidinji Aboriginal Corporation and Ventia
Industry sector: Telecommunications
Service: Aboriginal heritage management
Location: Atherton Tablelands, Far North QLD

About this Project

The project

The installation of a telecommunications (Telstra) tower at Bones Knob, Tolga on the Atherton Tablelands. The tower will provide the communities around Tolga with improved internet and telecommunications connectivity.

Our role in the project

Niche provided both historical and Aboriginal cultural heritage advice and services for the Project. This included archaeological survey work, the preparation of a detailed Cultural Heritage Field Assessment report, continued Aboriginal community consultation, historical heritage research, monitoring clearing surveys, and artefact analysis.

Project outcomes

The Bones Knob site has an unsettling history, known locally as a massacre site and a historical heritage site, having been used for radio communication during WWII.

Throughout the Project, Niche’s locally based cultural heritage consultant, Elena Piotto maintained a high standard of technical work and liaison with all stakeholders, including sensitive consultation with the Wadjanbarra Yidinji People about the site.

During monitoring work an unexpected find was recorded, in the form of a bone which was identified as potential human remains. Niche’s reporting protocols outline a step-by-step process for these types of finds, including a stop works procedure, followed by the Police reporting procedure. Fortunately, the Atherton Police were able to quickly determine the bone to belong to an animal (later identified to be pig remains) allowing only a short delay to the Project works.

Despite this unexpected hold up, Niche was then able to facilitate the progress and completion of the installation of the telecommunications tower which will, in turn, benefit the rural Tolga community greatly.

Niche’s heritage consultant Elena commented on both her surprise and curiosity when uncovering the bone, but above all her pleasure in engaging with the Wadjanbarra Yidinji People to record the story of the site, despite it being a harrowing story.

The advantages we delivered to this project

  • Locally based and experienced cultural heritage consultants
  • Excellent collaborative working relationships with all project stakeholders, including contractors and Aboriginal Parties.
  • Delivery of high-quality outcomes on time and within budget

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