Robert J Lee in Cairns
Three Community Cabinet meetings, hundreds of thousands of dollars in hand-outs to sporting clubs, millions for council beautification works and Main Roads projects done on the cheap will not change the hostile community attitude towards the Member for Cook David Kempton and will not help him hold his seat.
Multi-million dollar grazing property purchases handed over to indigenous corporations, construction of useless walking and pushbike tracks and the demolition of valuable rail assets will drive the final nail into the box of the former Cooktown land rights solicitor.
Liberal Party sources say they know the writing is on the wall for their short-lived domination of the Far Northern electorate which stretches from just north of Atherton to the Papua New Guinea border.
Traditional Owners from communities across Cape York Peninsula say they are infuriated with the performance of Mr Kempton.
Likewise community leaders from southern parts of the electorate which will be the subject of a future article.
“Where are our jobs?” demanded an angry Traditional Owner from Injinoo.
Two outspoken indigenous community leaders have targeted the Liberal Party and Mr Kempton for “under the table deals” with foreign mining companies and inaction over the removal of Alcohol Management Plans that he promised before the last election.
Others are speaking out about the ‘freehold’ housing deal offered to some communities with conditions that are impossible to meet.
Self-appointed national indigenous spokesman Noel Pearson is believed to be “totally pissed off” with Kempton because of his “back door deals” between various community groups, which undercut the influence and domination by the Cape York Land Council and its business arm, Balkanu over varous community groups.
Cairns News is being careful not to specifically identify the issues that have alienated the Liberals from the CYLC and its “jobs for the boys” program, suffice to say the latest land grab over the entire Peninsula by the CYLC and its nominees has inflamed a turf war among competing groups that will be impossible to extinguish.
Another cop-out at Bamaga by the LNP and Mr Kempton will bring down the roof when it hits the national news bulletin.
Predictions by pastoralists of the 80’s and 90’s have begun to take shape as the State and Federal Governments further dispossess white pastoralists of their generational holdings and hand them over to Aborigines.
It goes without saying that abandoned indigenous cattle grazing enterprises have been the bane of the northern cattle industry and the shame of governments pandering to indigenous pressure groups who simply want to live “on country”.
Gone forever is an integral part of the Far Northern breeding herd and gone forever is proven white stewardship of the fragile Peninsula grazing environment.
Former Peninsula leaders predicted the invisible and sticky fingers of the CYLC would eventually control the entire area north of Lakeland.
The late Harvey Schwenke of ‘Strathmay Station’ and former Peninsula Cattlemans Union chairman created controversy 15 years ago when he said the Land Council would one day control the entire Peninsula.
“They will fence across the lower boundary between Lakeland and Laura, place a gate on the Peninsula Development Road and charge entry to any white people wanting to enter,” Mr Schwenke told a Cairns reporter of the time.
It is notable that ‘Strathmay Station’ was one of five large cattle properties recently handed over to an indigenous group.
Just who will replace the Liberal Party on the Peninsula is anyone’s guess but a tip from Cairns News: “Keep an eye on Katters Australian Party candidate Lee Marriott,” a Cape York Peninsula native from Lakeland.
For more information read Cairns News December 12, Entire Cape York Peninsula soon to be owned by Cape York Land Council
filed by Robert J Lee at Coen
Hollow promises of more funding, freehold land ownership, more land grants and removal of alcohol management plans are just some of the palm-greasing tactics for indigenous groups which are being touted by the Liberal Member for Cook David Kempton in the hope of holding his seat at the November State election.
The Kowanyama township was one indigenous group mesmerised into voting for him at the 2012 election.
Labor polling booth supporters at Kowanyama complained to Electoral Commission officials on election day about Kempton’s henchmen trying to bribe voters by telling them alcohol management plans would be removed should they support the Liberal Party.
A scuffle broke out between different supporters and the Liberal emissary was ordered away from the booth.
Surprisingly the Liberal vote was the highest ever at Kowanyama but two years later local community social club members are still waiting for the AMP’s to be lifted.
A front page story in the Weekend Australian in September accused Mr Kempton, a solicitor, of these less than savoury electoral activities.
This time around Mr Kempton’s tactics have not altered but increased in desperation as more and more people wake up that the anti- small business and economic rationalist policies of the Liberals are sinking them further into the mire of failed businesses, unemployment and asset sales.
Such as the Peninsula where a handful of Cairns-based, unelected, high profile indigenous identities get rewarded with many millions of dollars by the Liberals (and Labor) for such esoteric purposes as training, health initiatives and land preservation, among a long list of other obscure, mostly meaningless projects.
While the rank and file community members of the Peninsula languish in often third world conditions, the politically aligned and correct few, cop all the benefits and bouquets.
The people of Cape York Peninsula, indeed the indigenous people of Far North Queensland will never prosper under the policies of either Labor or the Liberals.
A new state of North Queensland starting at the Tropic of Capricorn, is desperately needed to reclaim the vast amount of income generated by the region which the Liberals have hijacked into Brisbane.
The condition of the Far North road network, water storages, infrastructures, extraordinarily high power and water charges, rates, rent , a $400 annual mining lease tax, emergency services taxation and other increased government charges have emphasised the government funding scam and the Royalties for Regions ruse, with very little money being returned to where it was generated.
Only when a new state is created with its own local inhabitants elected for self-government will indigenous people be able to chart their own destiny.
Supporting either the Liberals or Labor at the election will ensure a new state is never created.
Cape Alumina project scrapped
In another cynical, self-preservation announcement the government stopped the proposed Cape Alumina bauxite project dead in its tracks this week after the (Steve) Irwin family pressured the Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney to halt the $1 billion development on environmental grounds.
Although Cape Alumina had no intention of mining anywhere near the Wenlock river which flows through Bertiehaugh pastoral holding held by the Irwins, 200 klms north east of Weipa, Newman could see the positive environmental spin it would generate for the LNP amongst the Brisbane chardonnay set at the next election.
Cairns News has no doubt the Irwins’ will be campaigning for the LNP in the south east corner come next election, mooted in August.
The wider collateral damage has not yet been evaluated however the decision will directly cut 1700 jobs, further entrench the reliance of local indigenous groups on the welfare sponge and set back the Cape York economy many years.
In yet another blow to the Far North, Rio Tinto at Weipa yesterday announced it was placing its $1b South of Embley expansion on the back burner for a further 12 months.
In today’s Cairns Post, Warren Entsch, the Liberal Member for Leichardt which takes in Cape York Peninsula, launched a scathing attack on the State Government for shutting down mining on the Peninsula.
Entsch attacked the Irwin’s for having prior knowledge of the government’s rebuke and for campaigning against the project which was in place before they were gifted the $6.3m Bertiehaugh station by the former Federal Labor Government.
“Terry and Bindi Irwin had enough notice to travel to Brisbane so they could stand beside Campbell Newman for the announcement,” an angry Warren Entsch said.
He said he was shocked there had been no consultation with himself, the Mapoon Shire Council, Cook Shire Council or Cape Alumina itself.
Mr Entsch said this decision sends a very bad message about development in Queensland.
CMC Committee sacked
The wheels are starting to come off the LNP Government wagon after this week’s desperate manoeuvres by Premier Campbell Newman to gain control of the anti-crime watchdog, the Crime and Misconduct Commission.
The Parliamentary CMC watchdog committee was sacked by the Attorney General Jerrod Bleije after its Chairman, Independent MP Elizabeth Cunningham criticised its interim chairman, Ken Levy allegedly for making a false statement before the committee.
Amid much public controversy, a new committee was appointed yesterday with a majority of government members.