Category Archives: Indigenous
Green preferences are driving the Labor Government’s proposed draconian environmental policies as a trade-off for the Adani coal mine approval.
A source close to the ALP is warning Wild Rivers “on steroids” rebadged as ‘Pristine Rivers’ will be put back on the table along with revamped, tough vegetation management laws should the ALP win the upcoming election.
The source said revisiting Wild Rivers and vegetation management laws are on the agenda for the upcoming State ALP conference to be held in Townsville at the Convention Centre on July 28 and 29.
A World Heritage listing over the Laura sandstone escarpment country, mooted by the State Government, also looms large for the people of the Peninsula.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad is moving to pacify the Greens’ hostility over approvals to allow Australia’s largest coal mine in Central Queensland to go ahead.
Trad and her colleague, Environment and Heritage Protection Minister Stephen Miles, have not yet taken into consideration the strident opposition of Cape York Peninsula communities, the Cape York Land Council and pastoralists alike, some of whom claim they will campaign against the party at the State election expected on November 4 this year.
Pastoralists and some communities believe a World Heritage nomination by the State Government will be the precursor for listing the entire Peninsula, in effect the beginning of the end for the economic prosperity of Aboriginal communities sitting on vast tracts of grazing property.
In a recent radio interview, Chairman of the CYLC, Richie AhMat castigated the proposed new versions of Wild Rivers and vegetation laws as well as the existing environmental overlays on most Aboriginal freehold and Deed of Grant in Trust land(DOGIT) covering nearly one half of the land area of the Peninsula.
Referring to the Wild Rivers legislation, Mr AhMat asked how the government expected Aboriginal people to start up businesses and to be economically viable “when these land restrictions appear out of nowhere?”
“You can’t talk about economic development on one hand and you can’t talk about indigenous employment on the other, and you can’t talk about Northern Australia on both hands.”
In reply to a question about the as yet undisclosed ‘Pristine Rivers’ policy Mr AhMat alluded to funding that had been allocated in the past two state budgets purportedly for consultation with traditional owners.
He said he was worried about all the rivers in Cape York which could be affected by a lock up policy.
“All of our rivers in Cape York are fresh water rivers, water is a huge commodity now and nobody in their wildest dreams 10 years or fifteen years ago expected them to buy a bottle of fresh water,” Mr Ah Mat said.
“To buy a bottle of fresh water is more than a litre of fuel.
“Why does the government want to lock up Cape York, because they have a 20 to 30 year plan but they aren’t talking to anybody, it’s all secretive because we are out of sight and out of mind.
“We fought long and hard against the wild rivers, long and hard and we were untied as one on Cape York.
“This Pristine Rivers believe me there are rumblings about it in 1 William Street (Executive Building) now.
“This legislation over land is going to block everything.”
Gordon Rasmussen, Katters Australian Party candidate for the Cook electorate, which takes in all of Cape York, agreed with Mr Ah Mat.
“It looks like Northern Development is just a talk fest because what Mr Ah Mat says about locking up all the rivers and land on Cape York makes a mockery of the $5 billion federal fund for northern land development,” Mr Rasmussen pointed out.
“How does the federal government expect to achieve anything in an area like the Peninsula to help economic development for struggling communities when the State Government has divided up most of the Aboriginal land into nature reserves, national parks and heritage areas?
“If the Labor Party gets back into government we are all in for a very rough trot.”
Up to 15 black teenagers hit a man with a bicycle, then punched and kicked him unconscious in the early hours of Sunday morning in the Cairns suburb of Woree.
The man, 36, had left a local hotel and was walking towards his car when he was directly approached by the gang of youths.
Senior Constable Russell Parker of Cairns Police said the man had been unconscious for about 10 minutes and when he came to, discovered his phone, wallet and car keys had been stolen.
Constable Parker said his car was taken for a joy ride by the indigenous youths but later recovered.
Police have called for public assistance to find the culprits. As previously reported in Cairns News gangs of roaming, largely indigenous criminals have placed a stain on Cairns as a safe tourist destination.
Police have long complained that after putting in hundreds of man hours looking for youthful criminals in the past, their able efforts are normally diffused by the Magistrates Court.
Successive State Governments have watered down punishment for young criminals and the Labor Government shut down boot camps.
Indigenous health advocate, Geoff Guest OAM, told Cairns News he has had outstanding success with youth and adult drug and alcohol rehabilitation over 30 years.
The renowned Petford Farm, west of Dimbulah, has successfully seen more than 3000 patients pass through its gates.
Many former residents of Petford Farm, now the Guest Centre, return after 20 or more years to pay homage to Mr Guest for turning their lives around.
The Guest program, based on horse training and riding, has been acknowledged by health professionals as the best substance abuse rehabilitation course in Australia.
Mr Guest said he has not admitted troubled youth to the program for a number of years, instead concentrating on healthy nutrition for Aboriginal communities, a strategy he believes should prevent the need for extensive rehab programs.
Member for Kennedy, Bob Katter, has called on the State Government to introduce healthy eating programs across the north, particularly at Kowanyama where three children attempt suicide each week.
Mr Guest, aged 90, is a seemingly ageless philanthropist, who has dedicated much of his life to helping others.
The KAP has condemned reports this afternoon that the State Government will review new crocodile management plans following an attack on a snorkeller on Lizard Island yesterday.
The man was treated for minor cuts and abrasions to his head after the reptile, estimated to be up to two metres long, attacked him near Watson Creek Inlet.
ABC reported Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the incident was concerning and that maybe stricter measures were needed, although she’s ruled out culling.
KAP State Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth said a review was the last thing Queenslanders needed.
“The time for talk is well and truly over; we need real action in the form of a controlled cull now to put a stop to the attacks, which seem to be multiplying by the day,” he said.
“We do not need a review – we know what the problem is and we demand action.”
State Member for Mt Isa Robbie Katter said the latest attack was the final straw.
“Human safety is paramount and the Government has now run out of chances to evade action; we need to activate a controlled cull as soon as possible,” he said.
The latest development comes just hours after reports of a beheaded crocodile near Innisfail, revealing locals may be taking steps to control crocodiles themselves because the Government is failing to act.
“People are saying this was bound to happen and it will continue if the Government doesn’t do something,” Mr Knuth said.
Following a well-supported consultation tour around north Queensland, the KAP will table legislation next month to allow for a controlled cull in populated areas across Queensland.
Under the legislation, Mr Knuth said crocodiles could be culled or relocated to a crocodile farm, and safari hunting and egg collection initiatives could be set up to create jobs for Indigenous rangers.
Media organisations and newspapers are cowering under threat of prosecution by the Anti-discrimination Commission should they identify the ethnic origin of criminals when reporting their misdeeds. So much for the abortive attempt to rehabilitate Section 18c.
It matters not to the racist zealots of the loathed Anti-discrimination Commission that young Aborigines are by far the main perpetrators of rampant, serious assaults and other crime in the Cairns area.
Some white criminals exist but tourists bearing the brunt of robbery, assault and battery are taking home stories that a visit to Cairns is just not worth it.
If you go out at night, or now it seems even in broad daylight you are likely to be assaulted.
Worse still the average age and gender of assailants has shocked hardened policemen on the beat.
In the past week a 37 year old Japanese tourist was approached by three youths and asked for cigarettes but when he refused he was bashed with a tree branch. The juveniles then tried to steal his back pack without success. Paramedics arrived to find the man suffering “serious bleeding.”
Three of the four 13 year old muggers, some or all of indigenous appearance, have been caught and since charged but will be dealt with under the juvenile justice act. Police are still looking for the fourth offender.
Unravelling this media-speak means they will be given a stern lecture perhaps by a Magistrate and released into the custody of their parents or carers, who should have made them stay home and taught them how to respect others in the first place, instead of wandering the streets in the early hours of the morning.
Meanwhile a tourist remains seriously injured and is no doubt harbouring vicious intent against the hundreds of wandering, Aboriginal and white kids in street gangs who push pedestrians off the footpath because the Aborigines proclaim ‘white bastards’ are trespassing on their land.
In a separate and unrelated incident, a 19 year old female was taken to hospital after she was allegedly attacked by three youths during an attempted robbery in the Cairns CBD.
The trio demanded her phone but was punched and kicked unconscious when she refused to hand it over.
A Manoora boy and Bentley Park girl, both aged 12, and a 16 year old girl from Mooroobool, have been charged by police.
Police are frustrated by the Magistrates Court being unable to address the youthful crime wave across the region. The ALP can take responsibility for diluting existing laws and for failing to introduce harsher penalties to curb escalating youth crime.
At least 80 motor vehicles a month are being stolen throughout the Cairns and Tablelands district and police are discovering to their horror that some thieves who led them on car chases have been as young as 12.
In years gone by, courts would give young troublemakers two options in sentencing. One was to attend a state detention facility that provided much better facilities and tucker than that at home, or to undertake a period of attendance at the renowned Petford Farm rehabilitation centre, run by indigenous couple, Geoff and Norma Guest since the late 1970’s.
Located on a remote cattle and horse property 30 klms west of Dimbulah, the facility can claim outstanding success with more than 3000 attendees over a 30 year period.
Health authorities have boasted a 70 per cent non-recidivism success rate with Aboriginal and white youth after completing the Guest courses. Many adults also passed through the drug and alcohol rehabilitation program developed by Geoff Guest OAM. His wife Norma passed away last year after a long illness.
The Petford Wellness group in more recent times, rather than taking troubled boarders, has been developing a rehabilitation curriculum for implementation into Aboriginal communities, with the notion of prevention rather than cure.
Mr Guest wants to train trainers so they can instruct intending mothers, mothers and children about proper nutrition, removal of sugar from diets and food preparation methods. He believes in the adage, ‘we are what we eat.’
Now aged 90, the intrepid Geoff Guest still breaks in horses, which have played an integral part of his outstanding rehabilitation process.
The Queensland Labor Party recently ruled against the state’s youth boot camp apparatus, in effect the Guest legacy, claiming it was too hard on participants and ineffectual.
The crime wave apologists of the socialist Labor and Greens will continue to flay Far Northern tourism with their unauthorised United Nations Human Rights obligations, causing visitors to condemn destinations such as Cairns, being dangerous and a hazard to their itineraries. – contributed
A group of Coen residents has called for an independent audit into the distribution of $260 million of federal and state funding allocated for a major upgrade of the Peninsula Development Road.
One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts was invited to the Coen meeting on Wednesday night to hear the concerns of locals who believe there had been a wide-spread waste of government funds by Roadtek.
Long-time local grazier Paddy Shephard explained to the meeting how an Indigenous Land Use Agreement(ILUA) was about to signed off by the State Government giving part control of the PDR to a “Coen Aboriginal family group” which had no connection to the highway.
Another resolution was passed at the meeting asking Senator Roberts to instigate a senate inquiry into the granting of an ILUA over the PDR, an important arterial tourist and defence road.
Senator Roberts is no stranger to the Cape having taken a number of holiday trips to the Top.
He said he was at the meeting to listen to the concerns of local people and would do what he could to have the matters investigated.
“It seems the place is being held back and the road is important for defence and the opening up of the region,” Senator Roberts said.
“There is no accountability and now it seems lots of waste in general and an abuse of power where ordinary people are missing out every day.
“We are losing our sovereignty in government under regulations coming from the United Nations.”
Businessman Barry Mulley launched an emotional attack on the Cape York Land Council for demanding the PDR be handed over to their elitist members allegedly in order to take a cut of funding for contractors engaged in the upgrade.
“Once they have control of the road they can do what they like with it even charge a toll for tourists to use it and decide which contractors will get jobs,” Mr Mulley said.
“We believe local indigenous people should get jobs on the road but the land council should not be in control of it. There are too many jobs for the boys on big pay that has pushed up the cost of building it.
“There is no accountability from the government or land council in how they spend large amounts taxpayers money.
“I am sick of paying large amounts of tax only to have it wasted by the government on mismanagement of the road works.”
Mr Mulley said Peninsula ratepayers and residents had no political representation which is why Senator Roberts was invited to take their concerns to Parliament.
“Nobody cares about the Peninsula. The government just throws lots of money into it without any accountability,” he added.
The notorious ‘Land Claim Number 1’ according to Cape York Alliance member Jack Wilkie-Jans gave the CYLC the ability to claim ownership of the PDR.
“How do just nine claimants speak for the hundreds of clan groups across the Cape?” he asked.
“Is it any wonder there is such widespread derision among the indigenous and white people of the Cape.”
Australian controlled media remain silent as international concern to government inflicted brutality at Standing Rock Dakota being meted upon the largest gathering of protesting American Indian Nations in recent history.
People power is the virus that destroys government indulging in people control and corruption.
Today Japan has offered solidarity with the Indian Nations adding further international support as some 2000 supporting US military veterans move into Standing Rock.
Originally the oil pipeline direction was through the town Bismark North Dakota with a white population of some 57,000 objected due to possible pollution from the pipeline. Redirected through disputed Sioux land per the treaty of Fort Laramie in 1851, the pipeline must now be tunneled UNDER the Missouri River, [not required over the original route] escalating the Bismark concern of an environmental disaster now includes water supply.
Following this protest unfold for some time observing North Dakota governor Jack Dalrymple engineer this fiasco, may well see him follow General Custer into a career threatening Indian ambush.
Mal Davies – Singapore.
The reasons for protests at Standing Rock are complicated, morally-nuanced and steeped in history.
By Cresta Lee – SOS-NEWS
In 2014, Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) proposed a 1,134-mile underground pipeline that would take newly- tapped oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to a terminal in Illinois where it could be shipped to refineries and processed as usable fuel. Routing the oil underground rather than by train is far more cost efficient and arguably more environmentally friendly than other forms of transportation, according to the oil companies.
The problem is the pipeline crosses close to the sovereign land of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and underneath a stretch of the Missouri River near the tribe’s water supply. The tribe claims construction of the pipeline will destroy their sacred grounds and put the safety of their water supply at risk. They say they were not consulted in the investigation phase of the pipeline’s approval and that their complaints were dismissed by the Army Corps of Engineers responsible for approving projects like the pipeline.
Understanding the tribe’s side to the story necessitates understanding their status as a sovereign nation. In response to the horrendous treatment of Native American tribes in the United States’ history the government has recognized the sovereignty of these tribes and their land in specifically designated areas. Key in this is not that the government has “given” them sovereignty but rather acknowledged these groups of people as being a separately existing nation within the United States. To that end, tribes like the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe theoretically have the same status as a foreign country, and therein lies the problem.
Making things even more complicated, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe claim the land in question did originally belong to them via a treaty made in 1851 that has since been routinely violated by the federal government. The Sioux claim they have never ceded the land in question but have had it taken from them against their will.
Private security groups and law enforcement have been responsible for increasingly violent clashes with water protectors camped out on the land.
The Standing Rock Sioux are a sovereign nation of historically abused people who are protesting the annexation and profiteering of their own land, and in return are experiencing particularly brutal forms of police suppression. On September 3 a protest over a construction site that was believed to be inactive led to a clash between security personnel and water protectors.
On October 27, mace, rubber bullets and water cannons were used against 200 protesters. In November water cannons were again used against water protectors in freezing weather, leading to 26 people being hospitalized for broken bones and hypothermia and 141 people being arrested. Police claim they were using the water cannons to put out fires, while the water protectors claim the fires were started after the cannons to keep people warm.
The fallout from the actions of security personnel and law enforcement in November has served to bolster the resolve of water protectors and led to veterans of the US Armed Forces organising as a group to travel to Standing Rock to defend the safety of those peacefully assembled against future brutality.
This video below presents interview and footage from events at Standing Rock from November 20th – 21st 2016. The medic in this interview speaks to the violence that occurred last night as the riot police and the national guard used a spray cannon to drench the “Water Protector Defenders” for 9 hours in freezing temperatures. Tear gas canisters were launched at us one after another. Rubber bullets were fired at us, as well as sand bags. The Protectors stood strong, stayed calm and maintained good spirits, holding the bridge until at least 1:30 am.
Deep dust holes have developed in a gravel section of the Peninsula Development Road 40 klms south east of Weipa. The dust holes have been flagged by road authorities however most drivers unfamiliar with the road find themselves dropping into the 400 mm crevices before they can react.
Once a vehicle falls into a hole the steering becomes unresponsive and drivers can often lose control at speeds over 40 klm/hr.
Nearby property owners believe this road disrepair will soon lead to a roll over and injury for unsuspecting tourists who often tow caravans or bike trailers.
The Main Roads Department currently is laying bitumen on southern parts of the PDR, but the Weipa section apparently is a long way from being sealed.
Federal and State funding of $220 million for PDR upgrades has been seen largely misspent according to Peninsula businessmen who accused the MRD and Roadtek of discriminatory tendering and kowtowing to a select few of the indigenous hierarchy.
“There has been awful mismanagement of this project and millions wasted on so-called jobs for the boys like cultural heritage surveys and wrong road materials or spending $70,000 a day to cart water to fill dams because the wet season did not fill them when they could have just carted the water from the Coen River on demand,” one irate local told Cairns News.
“A lot of the water they tipped into dams just ran out the bottom or the sides.
“The whole project has been blackmailed and threatened by the laughable Land Claim No 1 led by the Cape York Land Council.
“The land council told the Main Roads Minister to give them all the work or they would shut down the job.
“Locals don’t mind the indigenous people getting work but they have stretched their credibility with most people on the Cape with their outrageous demands and prices being charged.
Editor: The MRD has repaired these dangerous dust holes much to their credit and made the road much safer.
Yanner nearly jailed for an attack on a woman in 1997
Aboriginal activist Murrandoo Yanner yesterday verbally abused One Nation leader Pauline Hanson accusing her of being a racist and telling her she was not welcome at the indigenous art show she visited in Cairns.
Yanner, whose Christian name is Jason, comes from the Gulf community of Doomagee near Burketown and like Hanson is no stranger to controversy.
Indigenous industry sources have told Cairns News Yanner converted to Islam about 10 years ago which explains his vile attack. https://www.facebook.com/PaulineHansonAu/videos/492107537660230/
Hanson laughed it off, later releasing a Facebook clip asking Yanner to stand with her against the corruption in various land councils and in government.
Yanner is regarded as a thug among some of his own people and his outburst will win him no friends within the wider Aboriginal community and certainly none at all in the white community.
A Traditional Owner and elder from Cairns called Yanner a “…disgrace, and our community will not tolerate this attack on a woman.”
Murrandoo Jason Yanner, regarded as a thug among the wider Aboriginal community verbally assaults Pauline Hanson at an art show.
Yanner was given a suspended jail sentence by a Mt Isa court over his role in a vicious pub brawl. The Court of Appeal found Yanner’s sentence should be increased, ordering he be jailed for 18 months, but wholly suspended the sentence for a period of four years.
The Attorney General had appealed a Mt Isa District Court sentence in which Yanner was placed on community-based orders.
However, in a split decision, one of the three appeal court judges, Chief Justice Paul de Jersey, found Yanner should actually serve time in jail – recommending an 18-month sentence suspended after six months, with an operational period of four years.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Murrandoo Yanner should be actually imprisoned,” Justice de Jersey said in his written judgment.
“His substantial episode of unprovoked vicious and brutal thuggery involved as many as four innocent victims, people who were thereby both physically injured and emotionally traumatised.”
Yanner and his young brother, Bruce Lee Yanner, 21, were involved in the fight outside the Burketown Hotel in May 1997. Yanner had pleaded guilty in the Mt Isa District Court to three charges of assault causing bodily harm and one of assault causing bodily harm in company, over attacks on a woman, a Telstra worker and a male nurse.
from Jim O’Toole at Cooktown
The highly controversial purchase of the 150,000 acre Springvale Station, 50 klms west of Cooktown by the State Government is refusing to die in the media, in spite of a recent scientific report clearing the Lakeland farming district of any reef runoff from the Springvale river catchment.
Taking advantage of annual coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef , 200 nautical miles north of Cooktown that this year covered a larger than normal area, ABC Television and their usual Green bed mates have wasted tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayers money with false and misleading reports.
Tuesday night’s 7.30 Report hosted by Mark Willacy took the cake.
After lower Cape York Peninsula viewers last year were treated to one of the most misleading reports ever broadcast by the ABC about land clearing at Olive Vale station, 60 klms to the north, WWF head kicker Andrew Picone was joined on the show by Tim Hughes of the South Endeavour Trust.
Local viewers said the story was devoid of fact and an insult to Peninsula farmers and cattle producers who believed comments by Mr Hughes amounted to a “bid for paid management rights.”
“Never let the facts get in the way of a Green story,” another landowner, who asked not to be named, told Cairns News.
Tim Hughes, through the South Endeavour Trust, manages the neighbouring property Kings Plains.
The Trust has 10 properties in its portfolio, purportedly managed by Mr Hughes for ‘conservation values.’
Predictably the ABC trotted out an indigenous group from Laura to visit the seasonal river.
They said members of their community visited the Normanby to catch fish and for recreational camping.
Cairns News can report that some indigenous people regard river beds as rubbish dumps, as the picture below of the nearby Laura River shows.
This campsite in the Laura River bed was photographed last year after a group of indigenous people left a mountain of rubbish behind. Beer bottles, food wrapping, an old mattress and disposable baby nappies were strewn about the river bed.
It was not removed and ended up being flushed down the river in the first fresh late last year.
Kings Plains manager Daryl Paradise and Mr Picone claimed a mining application by former Cook Shire Mayor and onetime owner of Springvale, Graham Elmes would silt-up the entire Barrier Reef if mining in the sandy bed of the West Normanby River went ahead.
Mr Elmes explained that removing gold or tin from sandy river beds is quite common in the Far North.
A large gold dredge was operating in the Mitchell River last year and the rich Palmer River had been extensively mined in this way for 120 years, without any evidence of serious river degradation.
Along with Mark Willacy, who was present at nearby Lakeland three weeks ago when the Great Barrier Reef Water Science Task Force gave the entire catchment area of the Normanby River system a clean bill of health, Mr Hughes seemed to be unaware of this finding. http://www.gbr.qld.gov.au/documents/gbrwst-interim-report-highres.pdf
Chief Scientist for Queensland, Dr Geoff Garrett, who heads the Task Force, told farmers in late May that the study found no measurable runoff coming from the Normanby catchment area that eventually runs into the sea.
This makes the $7m purchase of Springvale a rather spurious acquisition to halt alleged reef runoff.
Most farmers agree the well-improved cattle station, which runs 3500 breeder cattle, was purchased solely to prevent the proposed West Normanby dam site from going ahead.
Prior to the election, the Federal Government allocated $825,000 to conduct a feasibility study for a new dam site to provide reliable irrigation water for the nearby, expanding Lakeland farming district.
A substantial State Government budget allocation was made for the purpose of progressing World Heritage nominations for Cape York Peninsula.
The WWF and ACF have for two decades or more pushed the ALP to nominate the entire Cape for World Heritage, in defiance of the wishes of all Aboriginal communities.