KAP Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter flanked hundreds of First Australians at a roadblock outside Yarrabah (20 klms south Cairns) today to protest the State Government’s continued “lock down” of Indigenous communities, labelling the rule a case of “brutal paternalism”.
The demonstration follows weeks of turbulent behaviour in the communities including rioting in Aurukun, demonstrations at Yarrabah and the jailing of Doomadgee residents.
Mr Katter said Queensland’s infamous Aboriginal Affairs Act of the 1900’s had returned.
“This is outrageous overkill. It is just another exercise in power not an effort to look after us.
“If it’s to look after us, then where are the market gardens that were promised to me 18 months ago? Why did you send an infected person from Brisbane into the Cairns Base Hospital?
“What you are seeing here is the abrogation of our freedoms and the people enforcing this rule are sick and drunk with power. The health fascists are running amok and it’s about time politicians step up and I pray that the people hold the politicians to account if they don’t.”
Mr Katter said that hundreds of demonstrators met at the border carrying posters and banners and shouting for ‘freedom’ whilst being supervised by police.
He warned it would only get worse.
“There has been extreme rioting in Aurukun, screaming from Palm Island and Doomadgee is getting close to exploding.
“I’ve been told that there is a young man in a Gulf community who was informed by his doctor that he had to go to Brisbane for an operation or he would die. When he asked the authorities if he could return, he was told he wasn’t allowed. He was told it would be for an unknown amount of time and so he chose to stay, and he died.
“In Yarrabah they can’t get shoes, underwear or warm blankets. They can’t renew their registration or fix their cars. So why are these people locked up?!
“It’s the regime of brutal paternalism returned. It took us 150 years to get the Act abolished. And now it is back again.”