Thursday 27 October 2011

Labor will drive ahead with Cape York Rivers lock up plan

Earlier this month the Wilderness Society, an organisation that tries to fool people it supports indigenous peoples and their land, stuck up some massive billboards with Labor's help.

The billboards, costing between $15,000 - $25,000 a month, incorporates a flashing red neon sign below saying ''TELL NEWMAN NOW''

Ahead of the next State election, expected in the next five months, the government will steam roll Wild Rivers' declarations in three Cape York river systems. Today in Queensland Parliament, Environment Minister Vicky Darling would start ''consultations'' with traditional owners on Cape York peninsula.

Labor's target is the Coleman, Olive-Pascoe and Watson River systems. Four Cape York rivers are already ''locked up'' under the legislation. Labor, along with the politically-aligned Wilderness Society, say it will ''preserve pristine environments by restricting development around rivers and creeks.''

Federal MP for Leichhardt Warren Entsch says it's just another step in appeasing the Greens.

''I think it should be vehemently opposed," Warren Entsch said. ''The declarations, along with a push from the state and federal governments for a World Heritage listing in the peninsula, were an attempt to 'lock up' the region and would stifle economic development in impoverished Aboriginal communities.''

Entsch and LNP State leader, Campbell Newman, have vowed to stop the declarations from being made.

"I would hope that we would be in government and we would kill it off before then," Entsch said.

Wilderness Society say that the rivers of Cape York are some of the last free flowing rivers in the world, and are wanting declarations to stop mining developments, near the catchments and surrounding wetlands.

Amazingly, after over two years of posturing about this, the Government announces just a few short months out from an election, it will now consult with indigenous elders and community groups in Cape York. This of course means that they will pump out a ton of pretty brochures and some new websites no doubt and tell the black fellas what they're going to do with their rivers. It truly is an insult of significant proportions to treat the locals like this in such an arrogant, last minute fashion.

Mayor of the Northern Peninsula Area, Joseph Elu told CairnsBlog that the State Government repeatedly had not engaged his people in the process.

"We're the first people in Queensland that say the Cape rivers need protection, but protection doesn't mean lock up," Joseph Elu. "Wild Rivers is very much a lock up situation."

Mayor Elu said they have river protection covered under conservation covenants and national parks, which is enough protection. He warned that any lock up will only damage the river systems, with many feral pigs and cane toads. He was scathing about the lack of negotiations by the State Labor government over the proposed Wild Rivers legislation.

"Their way of consulting, is telling us what's going to happen," Joseph Elu said. "They did not come to us when the crucial decision on Wild Rivers were declared. They did not come to us and say why they are doing this. They did this behind closed doors."

CairnsBlog author, Michael Moore, talks with Northern Peninsula Mayor Joseph Elu.


Syd Walker said...

Joseph Elu's interview is now apparently to be shown on CairnsBlog for the nth time, so perhaps a question is in order.

When he claims "Wild Rivers is very much a lock up situation"... can he support that claim by showing one boundary fence and locked gate?

Private property often has locked gates. Mines often have perimeter security. But where are the "lock-ups" we keep being warned about in relation to Wild Rivers? If they doesn't exist, can we please start using more accurate language in this debate? Who knows, it might even lead to rational discussion..

Michael P Moore said...

I think you'll find Syd that the Mayor doesn't suggest there's gates and fences... it's the metaphorical term "lock up" and in context of the conversation I had with him, I can understand exactly what is is saying.

nomooremike said...

But they are not 'locked up', and there's nothing to stop Elu shooting pigs if he wants, or killing cane toads, or, should he wish, pulling up weeds.

Elu wants mines, mines means money, how many Weipas does Cape York need?

Chris of Manunda said...

Chris of Manunda says,
Surely common sense and natural justice dictate that only those who are directly affected by blanket decisions in government should also be the ones to make these decisions in the first place?
Isn't that a tenant of democracy?
Or, have we outgrown democracy?