Dating whitsundays

Proserpine Named after the goddess of fertility Proserpinia, the township of Proserpine dates backs to the 1870s when work-hungry people from all over the world arrived to grow and harvest sugar cane in the naturally fertile basin.

The sugar mill, which processes about 2 million tonnes of cane each year, still stands in the middle of town.

"The last hug I gave her, was when I tried to hold her and Kayque," she wept."That was the last time I felt her in my arms."Priscila Barros was also 32 weeks pregnant. BHP and Samarco have offered bereaved families a payment of almost ,000. The Melbourne headquarters of Australian mining giant BHP is a world away from the small Brazilian village of Bento Rodrigues, but what happened in this faraway place could cost BHP billions.

But Priscila and her husband Weslei were denied compensation for her miscarriage."They say my child is not considered as being born alive," she told Four Corners."It was alive, it was just not born yet. BHP's chief executive, Andrew Mackenzie, told Four Corners his company is committed to rebuilding the lives and communities that were affected: But Brazilian prosecutors are looking for more than just reparations.

It was sheer luck the death toll wasn't in the hundreds when a lethal torrent of sludge spewed from the Fundao dam, wiping out the village of Bento Rodrigues in November.

A Brazilian prosecutor describes Samarco — the company joint-owned by Australia's BHP Billiton and Brazilian mining giant Vale SA — as exhibiting "repeated, continual negligence".

The village of Bento Rodrigues lay just a few kilometres below the dam wall.

When it did burst, the people of Bento had only minutes to escape.

Brazilian state police now allege the disaster was partially caused by the mine ramping up production to offset the falling iron ore price.

The Whitsundays has a rich history dating back millions of years, when the hilly islands were formed when rising sea levels drowned a mainland mountain range.

The Ngaro Aboriginal people, one of the earliest recorded indigenous groups in Australia, were seen by Captain James Cook while exploring the Whitsunday Passage.

Priscila and her son Kayque still bear the scars from being dragged for kilometres by the mud.

But her five-year-old niece Emanuele did not survive. They will not."Having destroyed Bento — and seriously damaged other towns downstream — the sludge entered the Doce River, polluting the water and killing fish and wildlife all the way to the Atlantic coast, 600 kilometres away.