Wednesday 12 October 2011

Racial election billboards installed around Cairns mark election start

The arrival of massive billboards around Cairns, and across the State, signals the beginning of the Queensland State election.

The pro-Labor Wilderness Society, that has campaigned for the last three years to support the Queensland Government's Wild Rivers legislation, has fought plans from both LNP and Abbott to overturn the Wild Rivers Act.

The arrival of the election billboards this week indicate that Labor may call an early election, ahead of a March 2012 date, that will also coincide with local Council elections.

The regulation and access to Wild Rivers on the Cape York Peninsula is a dividing issue, not so much for those cosy in the city of Cairns or South East Queensland, many who would not even have seen the remote wonderland of the Cape or even tripped over an Aborigine.

Last year I trekked north to the very tip of Cape York, and spent time talking and listening to the locals, including Mayor of the Northern Peninsula Area, Joseph Elu, who expressed anger at how the State Government 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 told CairnsBlog. "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.


Bryan Law said...

Gee, and I thought TWS might one day support the environment instead of the ALP. (I didn't really think that. Really I think they'd chew their own feet off before voting honestly)

Michael P Moore said...

You'd probably appreciate one of them chewing your feet off Bryan ;-)

Boyd Scott said...

I have more hope in Can-Do. I don`t want the same debacle of mis-management of OUR Australian wilderness at the hands of some mob of foreign fat cats at World Heritage HQ in Paris, fat cats who wouldn`t have even a passing aquaintance with our listed areas and the impact that very listing has had on Australians, indigenous and non-indigenous alike. The current management of those sites is underfunded and must therefore turn to restricting public access to more and more previously vistitable areas. This is not 'management' or 'conservation' but 'preservation' and that was not the idea behind World Heritage listing.Australians number only around 22 million all told and live in a MASSIVE country,yet our lifestyle is restricted as if we live on a postage stamp-sized island.Time for ordinary Aussies( who don`t have a degree in Conservation 101 to give them 'scientific access') to wake up to their loss of access rights and demand an end to the lock-up of OUR country that continues at an exponential rate.

Bryan Law said...

Very funny Michael. I'm attached to my feet.

Boyd, it's not preservation. Weeds and feral animals are exploding in numbers, and without management will devastate so-called protected areas. The change in fire regime is changing the eco-system as we speak. The task is to understand what's going on and intervene to manage/understand a stressed dynamic. In remote areas, Aboriginal participation is vital, but TWS and the ALP have alienated the very people the land really needs. The LNP will transform the insult of wild rivers, and bring traditional owners into the mix. That's why I'll be voting for Gavin King in Cairns.

Boyd Scott said...

Bryan,I am pleased you are supporting Gavin. The fact remains that since my area, Mission Beach, had large parts of its forest placed under WH listing, weeds and feral animals have gone ballistic. Conservation allows sensible land use and should be properly funded. The situation here is more like a mutated version of preservation,where the alien element is seen as humans, rather than pigs,feral cats,cane toads and weeds.Managing resources is the point I was making. Our various authorities, from Wet Tropics to NPWS and QPWS are under-funded and resort to a philosophy of locking-up, rather than managing,our wilderness areas.As I said, Can-Do Newman looks more likely to enact sensible measures that will best suit Aussies, such as repealing Wild Rivers and fighting the WH listing of the Cape and Coral Sea.

Bryan Law said...

Boyd, I'm a passionate environmentalist, and I started learning about the issues in the highland rainforests between Millaa and Malanda. A lot of that forest was being misused and damaged by poor logging practices. Since 1989 I've watched TWS drift steadily away from reality, and become an organisation that parlays the votes of young urban idealists into support for the ALP. The actual problems of management, along with the idea of partnership with land-holders has been lost. There are 10,000 bureaucrats and 5 field workers. The decline and corruption of good government in this country is very depressing, and I wonder why we tolerate it.

Malcolm Loftes said...

between the bureaucrats, and corruption, no hope at all

nomooremike said...

Why are the billboards "racial"?

nomooremike said...

Just watched that one-sided interview, more to do with knocking Labor than concern over Wild Rivers.

Why didn't you ask him if anything was different under the Nationals?

Sir Joh had a great record in the Cape, didn't he?

Oh that's right, you weren't around here then, were you?