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.
from Robert J Lee, Cairns bureau
The Malthusians of the World Wildlife Fund and the Australian Conservation Foundation got the Cairns Post into hot water on Saturday Nov 7, when the Murdoch tabloid published their untruthful and misleading media release about land clearing.
Olive Vale station at Laura was granted a permit to clear 31,800 ha by the former LNP State Government but the WWF in usual form, churned out misleading information in an effort to halt any development in the north.
Local federal Liberal member Warren Entsch has been severely embarrassed by the publication of the falsified information that the journalist admitted was not checked for fact.
However to his credit he has come out swinging at the greenie “clowns” and his own government.
It would have been an easy exercise for the journalist to simply read previous articles held on file in the Cairns Post newsroom.
Not so the Murdoch media and in shades of the ABC, it simply regurgitates the dishonest crap put out by the multitude of Cairns greenie groups, particularly anything that mentions the Great Barrier Reef.
The offending article elicited a stinging rebuke from owner of Olive Vale station, Paul Ryan.
Below is Mr Ryan’s response to Cairns Post journalist Kimberley Vlasic:
“Approval is to clear 31,800 ha , not the 35,000 ha stated by Andrew Picone of ACF”.
To date less than 2000 ha has been cleared (confirmed by federal and state departments) not the bullshit comment of 5000 ha from Andrew Picone.
Clearing works stopped 10th June 2015 ,works then began on preparing cleared land for planting of Sorghum this coming wet season.
Andrew Picone of the Australian Conservation Foundation, a Malthusian, caught out sending misleading and dishonest media releases to the Cairns Post about lawful land clearing.
At no time has Olive Vale been formally notified to stop clearing by any government department .Current cessation of clearing is voluntary.
Olive Vale has met all legal requirements of project DA approval.
Approximately 500 ha to be planted with sorghum this wet season.
Queensland Department of Agriculture will be running a trail cropping program within the Olive Vale project area.
On 2nd July 2015 Olive vale and Koolburra stations were granted an approved generic SMP (species management plan ) for all clearing operations excluding Olive Vale farming project.
10th August 2015 Olive Vale submitted to EHP (State Department of Environment) a draft project specific SMP .
9th September EHP responded with request for changes to SMP
Olive Vale has been working through requested changes and will resubmit an up dated SMP by end of November.
The publishing of miss leading information in regards to the Olive Vale project affects the ability to obtain project specific external funding.
All current works to date have been funded directly by the owners of Olive Vale station.
The people affect the most by this project are the residents of Laura, Olive Vale is the largest employer within the Laura area.
I receive phone calls daily from locals looking for work .
Has anyone ask these local residents of Laura (Traditional owners) what their opinion is.
Olive Vale Pastoral operations within Cape York directly employs 20 staff ,with indigenous staff making up 40%.
A further 4 North Queensland based contractors are used to fill specific skill requirements.
If clearing was to proceed these numbers would double within 6 months.
All current indigenous employees have been signed up for apprenticeships (traineeship) in machinery operation.
These qualified staff will then be available as trainers for the employment of local residents that are currently not qualified.
How many people are directly employed by ACF or the Wilderness Society within Cape York and more specifically in the Laura area?
No representative from ACF or The Wilderness Society has ever contacted Olive Vale pastoral in regards to our operations.”
The Cairns Post, in a half-hearted retraction in its November 10 issue, tried to smooth over the irresponsible greenie claptrap.
In an email to Mr Ryan , journalist Kimberley Vlasic apologised for not contacting Mr Ryan to get the facts. No apology appeared in the Nov 10 story.
The article tries to sidestep its previous misinformation instead shifting the blame onto Warren Entsch and the Liberal Government, when in fact the impasse over approvals for the clearing lies directly with the State Government and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, who has refused to pass on the necessary information to the federal government.
The Liberal’s much-heralded Northern Development is indeed a misnomer and a lot of Asian corporations have been misled about getting involved in agriculture by the state and federal governments.
A theory of the few remaining white pastoralists on Cape York Peninsula has become closer to reality as any development is stopped by governments pandering to greenies and the indigenous Cape York Land Council.
Not very secret plans to create an indigenous state of Far North Queensland are gradually taking shape as the theory of white de-population eventuates.
Graziers claim the banks, in collusion with the State Government( both the previous LNP and now ALP governments) and the Cape York Land Council and have begun their campaign of asset-stripping large pastoral properties as banks unlawfully foreclose on three of the largest remaining white-owned cattle producers on the Peninsula without so much as a peep from either political party.
At least one Aurukun ‘white’ Aborigine sits on the sidelines trying to wrest a large property from bank receivers at an offer that is one tenth of market value.
In the last three years 1.5 million hectares of dispossessed white-owned cattle properties have been acquired by the State Government and handed over to Aborigines free of charge.
Approximately 60 per cent of the Aboriginal freehold property on Cape York Peninsula has a conservation zoning of some description placed over it that precludes cattle grazing.
Peninsula hoteliers and businesses say they feel threatened by underlying simmering tensions and in some cases direct threats made by hostile black elements throughout the Peninsula.
The hoax of Northern Development that includes Cape York Peninsula came home to roost when in August the State Government negotiated an Indigenous Land Use Agreement that handed over control of the Peninsula Development Road to the CYLC.
The PDR is the only land access to vital defence installations in the Far North.