The NSW Minerals Council has cancelled a workshop on indigenous consultation at an upcoming conference after a Hunter Valley indigenous group complained it had been snubbed.
Queensland-based consultant Grant Sarra was due to give a presentation on Aboriginal cultural awareness training and traditional owner engagement processes at the health, safety, environment and community conference to be held at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley in August.
Mr Sarra was invited to give the presentation even though the Plains Clans of the Wonnarua People is the registered Native Title claimant for an area that takes in about 80 per cent of Hunter mining operations.
Wonnarua spokesman Scott Franks said he believed the group had been snubbed because it had been a vocal opponent of several mining projects in the region.
"It's ludicrous; they [the Minerals Council] has no intention of recognising the Native Title claimant group in the Hunter Region," Mr Franks said.
"If you are a member of the Minerals Council I'd suggest you rethink your membership because we are not going to work with you."
NSW Minerals Council chief executive Stephen Galilee said Mr Sarra's presentation was intended to be general in its focus and designed for members from across NSW, not just the Hunter
"However, it is now our intention to reschedule for another time and another location to prevent any offence being taken," he said.
However Mr Franks accused the mining industry of attempting to destroy the Native Title process.
"The mining industry has a lot of work to do before it can say it has the faintest understanding Aboriginal people and native title," he said.
The Plains Clans of the Wonnarua People has lodged an application under the Commonwealth Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 to protect an area of land at Ravensworth.
If approved, it would be the first successful application made under the Act in NSW.