Category Archives: Cape York Peninsula
from Townsville bureau
Mining giant Rio Tinto in spite of its much-touted support for indigenous people on Cape York Peninsula has economically suppressed the Napranum Aboriginal community which adjoins the township of Weipa.
Three years ago an application was made to Rio Tinto by local elders who hold a Forestry Department timber cutting permit, to resume timber harvesting on Rio’s vast mining lease.
A Napranum native title group had been cutting timber on the mining lease and processing it in their modern sawmill since 1996 but halted production due to management and distribution problems in 2015.
A spokesperson said the sawmill and at least 10 local jobs had been idle ever since. Rio management at Weipa made every excuse during negotiations to recommence harvesting to prevent timber cutting on any part of their lease.
Instead at least three times a year the miner clears and burns large areas of valuable hardwood.
In 2017 at least 3000 acres of prized Cooktown Ironwood and Darwin Stringy timber worth at least $1.8M after processing was cleared and burnt without a single log being salvaged.
This occurs on an annual basis.
The mining giant claimed timber cutting could not go ahead because they had found palm cockatoos and quolls on parts of their lease. It was explained to the environmental section that these animals are not endangered and can be found across the Peninsula and south to Mareeba.
Never mind their fate when clearing and burning occurs.
The State Government, which issued the harvesting permit, has done little to get the timber cutting and sawmill restarted. It seems Rio rules the roost in Queensland.
Aboriginal Australians are riding on the gravy train and based on 2016* figures released by the Productivity Commission, state and federal governments spent $33.4 billion on the indigenous industry for that year.
This equates to $44,886 for every Aborigine and Torres Strait Islander, or at least people claiming to be indigenous, compared to $22,356 each for non-indigenous citizens across the 150 expenditure categories.
Whatever way it is looked at, putting aside the crescendo of racist screams from the pseudo indigenous mob marching in the streets demanding more taxpayers money, indigenous people are twice as well off compared to non-indigenous in financial terms.
If we take Cape York Peninsula, home to about 5000 Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, their living conditions are exactly what they choose.
The 14 isolated Peninsula and Gulf local government communities have more than double per capita spent on them than the rest of Australia. There they have well-funded government programs of every shape and size which have been ongoing for more than 40 years.
There are many thousands of government bureaucrats, quangos and NGO staff running these programs which are in the hundreds and too many to publish in this format, even if we could find all of them.
Housing and health consume much of the total annual budget. There are a dozen Aboriginal and Islander health organisations with offices in Cairns and every remote community including the Torres Strait. They operate large fleets of cars and buses all assigned with fuel cards.
The federal government is spending $4 billion over the next four years on the Indigenous Australian Health Program.
Another $90 million for primary health care was committed on July 1.
Indigenous Healthcare services for Queensland cost the taxpayer $1, 670.9 billion in 2016.
The hospitals and clinics in these communities are equipped with the latest medical equipment and staffed by well-trained black and white nurses and doctors.
There are five Queensland Ambulance Service bases across the Peninsula boasting some of the best trained staff in the country.
Royal Flying Doctor Service aircraft and doctors are continually servicing Aboriginal communities across the north, running regular clinics and transporting injured or sick patients to Cairns Base hospital on a daily basis.
A festering point of contention among Cape York residents is priority of patients for medical emergencies.
Although the Royal Flying Doctor Service will not admit it, pastoralists and other inhabitants claim Aborigines get priority over them for emergency medical evacuation flights.
Perhaps flights are prioritised on a financial basis? Which patient attracts the best contribution?
Housing for remote communities between 2008 and 2018 cost taxpayers more than $1 billion.
An election promise of another $105 million is expected to roll out over the next 12 months for remote northern indigenous housing.
The building industry benefits greatly from housing construction across the north where the average cost of a three bedroom dwelling is about $600,000. This does not include land.
In spite of continual drug and alcohol induced rioting at the Aurukun Aboriginal community, which saw six of these expensive homes burnt down last year, the capitulating Queensland Government is busy rebuilding them at great expense. These dwellings could easily be burnt down again in the ongoing warfare among the five community tribes.
Nationally, Indigenous Education and Training expenditure for the 2016 financial year was $5.776 billion, with Queensland’s share in 2016 costing $1,463.5 billion.
Every northern indigenous community has a modern school which is the envy of every teacher outside of the Far North. Technology has not been spared in these schools and most indigenous students, that is those who attend, are whiz-kids when it comes to mobile phone and internet ability.
The federal government in response to the Covid 19 destruction of the national economy is paying the displaced workforce of more than one million employees $1500 per fortnight to sit on their bums at home.
Dole payments have been doubled from $540 a fortnight to more than $1000 a fortnight which has provided a booze bonanza for many Aborigines lounging around on their boasted “sit down money.”
Is it any wonder most industries and farmers cannot get employees back to work?
Those who cry “poor blackfella me” should crawl back under their rocks.
* Latest figures available
Sunday March 1, 2020
compiled by Jim O’Toole
Aurukun has just erupted into violence again after a massive riot and wave of destruction six weeks ago. There are unconfirmed reports of burning homes and police cars. At least 60 police have been stationed at Aurukun and Weipa trying to maintain order at the remote settlement located on the eastern shores of the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Reports suggest Aurukun unrest was costing more than $100,000 a day in police and emergency services overtime. Ambulances, doctors, RFDS and hospitals have been on standby since the first outbreak.
Commentators have suggested millions of dollars of infrastructure damage inflicted by marauding blackfellas should not be repaired at taxpayer expense.
Things were getting quite dry in the southern region of PNG during the long hot dry spell at Christmas time. So hot and dry that PNG nationals were boating across to Saibai Island under the cover of darkness to steal fresh water. Saibai is the closest island to the PNG mainland under Australian control.
Whatever happened to Borderforce patrols is unknown but the coastal guardians don’t seem to be the same since one of their senior boat skippers died in unusual circumstances on board one of their vessels about 18 months ago in the Torres Strait. Around the same time both new Borderforce vessels ran aground on a reef and spent many weeks in Cairns dry dock getting repaired.
Aircraft were the only line of defence left for quite some time after the grounding of the boats.
Rumours and anecdotal evidence of an enduring guns for weed trade in the Torres Strait have been around for many years and a television series was even made about it.
Northern Peninsula Area
The pleasant community of Umagico was rocked on Tuesday when thieves broke into the council operated supermarket and stole a very heavy teller machine. The crooks there are getting much smarter because the CCTV and electricity were cut off before they entered the premises. We heard there were no fingerprints found. It was coincidental the teller machine had been loaded up with bank notes the day before.
Hand over of the Tip of Cape York
In November senior bureaucrats from the Queensland Lands Department held a land handover function at Pajinka at the Tip of Cape York, the site of the former TAA/Bush Pilots tourist resort which flourished in the 80’s. The resort was given to an indigenous tribe in the 90’s but the $10 million destination soon floundered and was then abandoned by the local group.
Any visitor to the Tip of Cape York since then would have seen the Pajinka site consisting of falling- down and vandalised tourist facilities, quarters and homes. For many years desolate Pajinka has been the epitome of government stupidity and tourists’ video footage of the wreckage could be viewed for years on social media castigating blackfellas and the government.
The Pajinka fiasco has probably been the worst ever, unintentional public relations event for the Aboriginal and Islander cause. More than 100,000 tourists visit the Tip each year and the wanton waste at the abandoned site has driven the wedge even further between white and black.
NPA inhabitants are well respected by visitors and bureaucracy alike and conduct themselves in a formidable fashion.
This time around the new owners of Pajinka are being careful with plotting a suitable destiny for the best chunk of freehold real estate in the country. They say there will be no Chinese involvement.
For whom the bell tolls
The NPA community of Injinoo still has a resident saltie some call ‘ding-dong’ because the large croc arrives at the water’s edge in Injinoo Inlet alongside the school fence as soon as the school bell rings at 3pm.
Last year there were thousands of views on social media of the croc eating a dog that ventured too close to the water. Schoolkids were calling for the dog to come away from the water but the large saurian snapped him up before they could get the big pup to move.
Local Rangers supposedly shot the croc soon afterwards but it turned out they shot a smaller one.