First published in April 2016
Aboriginal people of Cape York Peninsula are being duped and dudded by the State Government over large land ‘hand overs’ that the local communities believe will prevent them from earning income.
On April 7, another 54,000 hectares north of Cooktown was handed over to several tribal groups from Hopevale, adding even more locked-up land to the vast national park estate on Cape York.
Since the CYPLUS (Cape York Peninsula Land Use Study) research of the 80’s and early 90’s once productive grazing land has steadily been resumed by State Governments, mainly the ALP, to be gazetted as national park or some type of nature reserve.
Nature reserves, national parks, regional parks, timber reserves, environmental reserves and DOGIT land shaded areas cover at least 70 per cent of the Peninsula leaving small areas for grazing or commercial purposes that are not of any economic benefit to Aboriginal groups
Various Aboriginal corporations gratefully sign up to vast areas of former cattle stations, such as the Olkola people when last year they were handed five, once viable large cattle properties in central Cape York Peninsula totalling 1.5 million acres that used to run 30,000 cattle.
The Prescribed Body Corporation gleefully accepted the gift from the State Government, but seemingly did not properly read the paperwork. The PBC just helped the National Parks and Wildlife Service add another one million acres to their vast estate, on which no cattle grazing is allowed.
The remaining portion of Aboriginal Freehold can be used for grazing or selective timber cutting, but under the ALP environmental laws would have to be excluded from the nature reserves and park area by fencing it off.
The fencing would cost several million dollars and require maintenance on a weekly basis to be effective.
Indigenous leader Noel Pearson angrily said, “…again Aborigines have been duped by the Labor/Green bureaucracy.”
Noel Pearson sick and tired of being ‘dudded’ by the Labor/Green bureaucracy
Pearson heaped vitriol on the Labor and former LNP governments at a large meeting of stakeholders in Mareeba recently for dudding the communities of Cape York over land use.
“We have no property rights on Cape York and we need upgraded tenure. There are lots of fronts where all landowners are vulnerable,” he said.
Public servants who once worked for environmental lobby groups were targeted by Pearson for pushing extreme green agendas within government.
“These greens have infiltrated indigenous groups and government departments and it’s like a tag team, they are all the same, and have networked with all departments,” Mr Pearson said.
“Public servants should declare their association with environmental groups.
“The proposition there is going to be land clearing the size of Victoria, is fantasy.
“There are only pockets of land suitable for development.
“White people too have had many generations on this land and they have a great love for their land. It’s high time the law in Queensland started to respect that relationship.
“We spent five hard years and lots of money fighting Wild Rivers in court but we could have been doing other more productive things.
“We need another 10 independents in parliament to put us in a better position, given the absence of an Upper House.”