from Robert J Lee in Brisbane
Billy Gordon, the indigenous and invisible Member for the far northern Queensland seat of Cook, who shot to notoriety for sending SMS messages of his penis to several women, yesterday withdrew the complaint he made against Cairns woman, Christine Gibson.
In October Ms Gibson, 50, was charged with blackmail by police allegedly for demanding Mr Gordon give her $10,000 or she would show the media images of his penis.
Speaking on ABC radio this morning Mr Gordon said he had withdrawn the charges , in part, so he could “stay off the front pages for all the wrong reasons.”
After police charged Ms Gibson two other women came forward claiming they too had been sent lewd SMS messages of Mr Gordon’s appendage.
The solicitor acting for Ms Gibson, Paul Richardson, had asked police for copies of the statements from the two women who came forward, because they formed a part of the “factual matrix” of the case.
Mr Richardson said the requested documents had not been forthcoming and he planned to call for a directions hearing, however police offered no evidence at yesterday’s hearing in Cairns Magistrates Court and the case was dropped.
He said Ms Gibson was overjoyed with the decision. “She has been under significant stress and pressure since being charged.”
In defending claims on radio he is the “invisible member” Mr Gordon said he now planned to do his job as the state member and he hoped to visit his electorate helping constituents as best he could.
Largest ever single native title claim LODGED IN FEDERAL COURT
Friday December 12
In Brisbane’s Federal Court yesterday the Cape York Land Council (CYLC) lodged the largest single native title claim in Australian history, covering 14.6 million hectares or 146,390 square kilometres.
The claim on behalf of nine Traditional Owners is for all the unclaimed land and inland waters for the entirety of Cape York. The applicants are Mike Ross, Silva Blanco, Wayne Butcher (Mayor of Lockhart River), James Creek, Clarry Flinders, Jonathan Korkaktain, Philip Port, Hogan Shortjoe and Reginald Williams.
When coupled with the 53,990 square kms already determined on the Cape, all land and inland waters of Cape York will be either determined as native title, or under claim.
The entire Cape York Peninsula has been claimed by the indigenous-owned Cape York Land Council. The CYLC has in the past been accused of financial irregularities and entrenched corruption. An auditor’s report recommended the CYLC be prosecuted for corruption several years ago but was buried by the then Liberal Government. Cairns News believes it is time for the report to be published. An article will appear on Cairns News in due course.
And when added to the vast areas transferred to Aboriginal ownership under the Aboriginal Land Act 1991 (QLD), all significant activity on the Cape will require the consent of the Traditional Owners.
This includes mining and other major projects.
“This means the Traditional Owners of the Cape will be the real masters of development and use of their lands,” said Riche Ah Mat, Chairman of the Cape York Land Council.
“Traditional Owners can now reconnect with country, and also ensure we can use our lands so our futures are bright with economic opportunity, not blighted by continued welfare dependence.”
Applicant and Mayor of Lockhart River, Wayne Butcher, said it was a great day for the Cape’s traditional owners.
“I acknowledge the hard work of our elders,” he said.“We have lost too many elders during our struggle. The single claim will mean we can get our rights before we lose any more. We are one people, and we will continue the fight together.
“This claim ensures that traditional owners of each area continue to speak for their traditional lands.”
Elder and chair of the Olkola Aboriginal Corporation, Mike Ross, said the claim would ensure traditional owners across the Cape had a real say in what happened on their traditional lands.
“The Cape is under lots of pressure from mining and other interests, and it is important that traditional owners stand up and make decisions on the future uses of their lands.
“Coupled with the transfer of freehold, this native title claim makes our historic ties to the land clear.”
CYLC has undertaken an extensive consultation process to have this enormous claim authorised according to the requirements of the Native Title Act 1993, and will continue to consult with Traditional Owners.
CYLC has already commenced the consultation process with other stakeholders, including the QLD Government and shire councils.
Mr Ah Mat said there was no reason why the outcome of the claim could not be a win-win for all Cape York people and organisations.
“This can provide enormous efficiencies for Traditional Owners, miners, government and other stakeholders,” he said.
CYLC is working to ensure it is in a position to efficiently process the anticipated increase in the number of applications from developers, tourism operators, miners and governments for activities affecting native title.
Native Title grant great loss to cattle industry
Largest ‘pig pen’ and ‘tinder box’ in the world
The hand-over of five large cattle properties covering 633,630 hectares (1,565,066 acres) to the Olkola Aboriginal group and national parks will have a significant, harmful impact on the Far North cattle industry according to a remaining grazier on Cape York Peninsula.
Strathmay, Crosbie, Dixie, Wulpan and Killarney all former breeding properties ran a combined 20,000 head of cows and calves vital to the survival of the northern industry.
A surviving cattle producer, who declined to be named said the transfer of ownership was a tragedy for the industry which had been in decline for years due to previous losses of dozens of Pastoral Holdings to national parks when leases fell due.
To date more than 3.2million hectares of the once vibrant Cape York Peninsula have been given to Aboriginal Prescribed Body Corporations and parks.
“A lot of this started with the Labor Party government and has been continued by the Liberals which is having a bad effect on the few of us left here,” the grazier said.
“Thirty years ago the Peninsula used to run up to a million head and was a strong and vibrant industry that could be relied on to breed steers for the Mareeba saleyards and then the live export market, but now the saleyards has lost most of its store numbers and not many store cattle buyers come to the sale.
“There are no successful indigenous-owned cattle properties on the Peninsula right now because they are so poorly managed and do not have the ability to source adequate finance to stock these places.
“Even if there were large numbers of breeders available for sale experience shows southern or western cattle cannot acclimatise if taken to Peninsula properties.
“There have been cases where thousands of introduced cattle have perished over the years because of the harsh and unique grazing environment up here.
“Now that we have lost tens of thousands of our breeder stock I doubt the Peninsula will ever again become a source of reliable store cattle available for southern fattening properties.”
Deputy chairwoman of the Olkola Aboriginal Corporation, Elaine Price said it would be a proud occasion when the properties are formally handed over on December 10 in Cooktown.
“The younger industry may be happier to do tourism rather than the cattle industry because the cattle industry’s so hard today. It will be nice for us to have our family back on country,” Mrs Price told the Cairns Post.
The Cape York Peninsula Land Use Study (CYPLUS) of the 1980’s recommended the larger Cape York Peninsula area be converted to national park or Aboriginal ownership and this plan has been almost achieved.
“The Peninsula will now become the biggest pig pen and tinder box in the world,” the grazier said.
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.