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.”
by Robert J Lee
LIBERAL GOVERNMENT LEFT WITH EGG ALL OVER ITS FACE
THE CAIRNS POST AND THE ABC HAVE HAD THIS STORY FOR 3 WEEKS BUT WILL NOT TOUCH IT
TROUBLE AHEAD FOR ALL RESIDENTS OF CAPE YORK PENINSULA WITH A NEW INDIGENOUS STATE TO BE CREATED
Cape York Land Council takes control of the Peninsula Development Road on Cape York Peninsula.
Cape York Land Council says the $210 million Mein Deviation road job near Weipa can start
The prospect of Northern Development hailed by the Federal Government as the panacea for northern Australia has been placed on the back foot after the State Government and the Cape York Land Council signed an agreement allowing the Land Council to control the Peninsula Development Road, the main arterial access to Cape York.
The Land Council claims it wants jobs for local community residents but some Cape Traditional Owners, businessmen and pastoralists believe it to be a “greedy land grab for the few at the top of the CYLC” that will not benefit most struggling communities.
There will be more of the traditional CYLC ‘jobs for their boys’ who in most cases are never local indigenous businesses. Richie AhMat, Gerhardt and Noel Pearson are in bed with the big boys and their predictions of jobs for Peninsula indigenous contractors like most of their other failed, expensive schemes will also fail local businesses, contractors and the long-suffering community resident.
The state and federal governments have rolled over to the unrepresentative CYLC yet again. Next comes the new Aboriginal state of Cape York above the 16th Parallel with the TOLL gates set at Laura or Lakeland.
Every local authority in the nation should be terrified about the hijacking of this vital state government-owned road that is the only land access to important northern defence facilities and the major mining town of Weipa.
Meanwhile September is a few days away and the wet season a few months away. Starting such major roadworks near Weipa that should have begun in May will be a disaster for the unlucky contractor, soon to be announced.
And the annual $25 billion Aboriginal industry, taxpayer feeding frenzy continues for CYLC and Balkanu……..
Meetings to discuss Cape York issues to be held soon
A series of meetings about the Penisula Development Road will be held next week across Cape York Peninsula.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org – (07) 40532856
Cooktown Monday 3rd August 5.30pm – 7pm Sovereign Resort
Coen Hotel Wednesday 5th August 4.00pm – 5.30pm
Lakeland Hotel Monday 3rd August 2.00pm – 3.30pm
Laura Tuesday 4th August 10am – 11.30am Quinkan Hotel
Lockhart River Church Hall Tuesday 11th August 10am – 12.30pm
Loyalty beach camp ground and fishing lodge Friday 7th August 5.30pm – 7pm
Musgrave Roadhouse Tuesday 4th August 3.30pm – 5pm
Weipa Albatross Bay Resort Tuesday 6th August 5.30pm – 7pm
It would seem Federal Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch has been fence sitting over this issue and continues to ignore the voice of the people. He may have started his own political demise with voter anger reaching boiling point in North Queensland.
Gerhardt Pearson Facebook Source: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009743923034
Landmark agreement paves way for Peninsula Development Road
Published on Facebook – 29 July 2015
THE Cape York Land Council today signed an important agreement which paves the way for the start of construction on the Mein Deviation and other sections of the Peninsula Development Road, known as the PDR.
Under this agreement, the Queensland Government and Native Title Holders will now begin negotiations to settle an Indigenous Land Use Agreement for the whole of the PDR by the end of 2015. These negotiations follow the lodgment and registration of one of Australia’s largest native title claims earlier in the year, over Cape York.
Chairman of the Cape York Land Council, Mr Richie Ah Mat, said the Department of Transport and Main Roads could now finalise contract arrangements for construction to commence next week.
“There has been a mammoth effort by the Queensland Government and the Cape York Land Council to settle these outstanding matters over the last two months and our meetings over the last two days have endorsed our approach,” he said.
The agreement addresses Indigenous employment, training and business opportunities, cultural heritage clearance processes and environmental considerations.
“On Cape York, where the Indigenous community is battling very high unemployment, high incarceration rates and alcohol and drug abuse, projects such as the PDR are critical in providing opportunity to our mob,” said Mr Ahmat.
“This is a great example of the State Government recognising the Native Title and cultural interests of Traditional Owners to maintain respectful ongoing relationships to carry the PDR to completion.”
Under the agreement, a Traditional Owner steering committee has been established that will guide the settlement of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement with the Queensland Government.
Mr Ahmat said that it was very important for Traditional Owner groups to work together on major linear projects such as the PDR. “An important principle of the Native Title claim has been that Traditional Owners speak for their country,” he said.
“Prior to the settlement of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement, there will need to be further discussions with Traditional Owners from along the road route”.
Southern Kandju and Negotiating committee member, Dion Creek, praised the agreement.
“For the first time, the State Labor Government, Cape York Land Council, and Traditional Owners have respectfully negotiated a single agreement covering the PDR,” he said.
“There can be no longer be any excuse for our people to remain on the sidelines, when it comes to capitalising on investments for the PDR and other road networks throughout Cape York.
Mr Creek said that PDR investments specified in the agreement would be used to increase the capacity of Indigenous people, through the provision of training and employment, enterprise facilitation and the commitment to support local business.
“We have a jobs crisis in Cape York,” he said. “It is a priority we must address
by Robert J Lee
Four wheel drive enthusiasts, pastoralists, transport companies and tourists may soon have to pay a toll to drive on the Peninsula Development Road after the Cape York Land Council this week indicated it would pursue an Indigenous Land Use Agreement over the entire Peninsula Development Road and the Telegraph Track.
Not only has the land council laid down the gauntlet to all Australians, but its move has jeopardised the construction of a $220 million bitumen road upgrade near Weipa.
The Main Roads Department has been struggling for five weeks to deal with an intransigent land council and its representatives, who have demanded extravagant royalties for gravel and prohibited the taking of any water from permanent rivers, dams or springs.
The legality of the road network grab, according to land council sources comes via an ambit land claim (see illustration) placed over the entire Peninsula in December, covering 146,390 square kilometres.
It is the largest single land claim ever lodged in Australian history
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.
Cairns News in 2003 was given a copy of a map of the Peninsula that shows a proposed Aboriginal state taking in all land north of the 16th Parallel.
This ambit claim was lodged in December, with nine token claimants, Mike Ross, Silva Blanco, Wayne Butcher (Mayor of Lockhart River), James Creek, Clarry Flinders, Jonathan Korkaktain, Philip Port, Hogan Shortjoe and Reginald Williams.
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.
Richie Ahmat, Chairman of the Cape York Land Council and unofficial mouthpiece for Noel Pearson
“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.”
Meanwhile northern pastoralists, development associations, tourist bodies and other affected groups are sharpening their swords to engage the CYLC head on.
This story will be regularly updated – editor