A mooted ban on tourists visiting Cape York is a media beat-up and has little basis in fact.
It might however deter visitors and their money from assisting languishing Peninsula communities. Tourist operators already have been called about the newspaper story and they have advised callers there will be few meaningful closures.
A Cairns newspaper ran a story on Tuesday claiming ‘traditional owners’ were sick of messy tourists visiting different parts of the Peninsula leaving rubbish behind and they intended to close off popular coastal beauty spots.
A map published in the paper cites the north western beach camp of Vrilya Point which will be off limits this Easter along with Janie Creek to the south.
These once popular beach camping spots are on Rio Tinto’s mining lease and have been closed to any visitors for several years, since Rio began a drilling exploration program looking for bauxite deposits.
No Entry signs, locked gates and barbed wire fences have stopped access for 4WD’s and unless visitors can get a key from either Rio in Weipa or from the native title holders in Bamaga then no one can legally enter.
As far as restricting access to Pajinka at the Tip of the Cape, alleged traditional owners would have to prevent tourists from crossing the Jardine River on the car ferry.
It is extremely doubtful the Northern Peninsula Area Council would take such action with their ferry being the only source of income for the cash-strapped community other than local government grants.
A council spokesperson knew nothing of the newspaper article or any proposed tourist bans.
It is a bit rich for ‘traditional owners’ to blame tourists for littering. Sure some urban types who camp on rivers or at recognised, but not managed camping grounds may leave rubbish behind.
The state government has long held a MOU with traditional owners through councils to maintain camping areas and tourist haunts found on DOGIT or Aboriginal Freehold land, which covers the cost of cleaning up rubbish, usually by indigenous rangers or national park staff.
However councils seldom clean up their own or tourist rubbish as evidenced by a litany of wrecked cars and beer cans which can be seen by anyone who drives along a Peninsula road.
Traditional owners should be mindful of their own back yards before blaming visitors for littering. Visit any back street of any community and the mess can be horrifying.
Unfortunately this writer has to admit that many indigenous people are wanton litterers and ‘caring for country’ is a slick slogan engendered for terribly uninformed city slickers by the ABC and their socialist buddies.
The Cairns newspaper quoted an alleged Aboriginal traditional owner who is actually from Moa Island, the St Paul’s community of Pacific Islanders whose grandfather moved to the mainland. He is wanting to close down Pajinka at the Tip to tourists.
He is a Solomon Islander who has no right to speak for Pajinka, said a Peninsula traditional owner and confidante who has had enough of false prophets conning gullible media..
Speaking of the Pajinka ruins, it is well known to every tourist who has ever had their photo taken next to the ‘you are standing at the northern most point of the Australian continent’ sign, that the former Bush Pilots’ plush resort handed to local Aborigines over 25 years ago has been a monument to indigenous business incompatibility and indifference.
After Bushies left the resort as a going concern in the late 80’s, which had earned the company big money at the time, it took less than two years for it to collapse into disrepair.
Tourists have been disgusted with the sight of termite-infested, collapsed executive homes and accommodation units as they drive through the looted ruins to the nearby parking area at the base of the Tip.
So much so that over many years videos and photographs of the once prosperous tourist resort have been posted on Facebook and other social media tagged with derogatory commentary.
Had the local murris been smart they would have bulldozed the ruins long ago and left a neat and tidy patch of rainforest for the tourists to drool over and make kind remarks. Instead interlopers from the south tried to sell Australia’s most valuable and strategic 211 hectare freehold Pajinka site to China.
We hope this proposed closure of the Tip is not cover for a Chinese takeover.
This one example of neglect has done more to widen the gap, other than the spiralling indigenous youth crime rate, leaving the gimmick of ‘closing the gap’ floundering in the dust of the 60,000 annual visitors.
If the state government had been properly managing any of these significant tourist destinations there would have been rubbish bins and toilet blocks provided at these attractions a decade ago.
Instead all levels of government are content to leave major clean-ups of beaches and camping areas to wonderful volunteer organisations such as Tangaroa Blue which removes tens of tonnes of rubbish every couple of years from the Peninsula..
Labor MP’s are well supported by northern Peninsula and Torres Strait people yet they do precious little to save them from economic starvation and local inhabitants still cannot see the forest for the trees
It reeks of hypocrisy for the pot to call the kettle black.
from A B Salmon
Another Chinese ‘Belt and Road’ project this time to strangle Far North Queensland and Torres Strait
Not a word from newly elected Labor Member and Torres Strait resident Cynthia Lui
China is set to move a part of its commercial fishing fleet into the Torres Strait after a deal was struck in Port Moresby between China and Papua New Guinea last week.
Torres Strait Islanders are up in arms because the agreement could see 25 per cent of the Australian tropical rock lobster resource and 40 per cent of the allowable Torres Strait Spanish mackeral catch end up on Chinese dinner plates.
The deal would castrate the northern fishery leaving Torres Strait Islanders starving and further decimate the Island economy.
All sectors of the northern fishery have reacted angrily to the plan for the establishment of a “comprehensive Multi-functional Fishery Industrial Park project on Daru Island.
Under the agreement, Chinese-funded PNG fishermen can enter the Torres Strait under PNG’s treaty rights to take commercial species of fish.
Chairman of the Torres Strait Sea and Land Council Gur A Baradharaw Ned David told the Cape and Torres News his people were extremely concerned.
“I think we are going to have to sort out a few things on our side of the border,” Mr David said.
“We would like to see the level of monitoring and restrictions the Commonwealth has taken on the border for Covid 19 continued in terms of policing and presence to ensure that nobody is pilfering and plundering our resources on our side of the border.”
The Chinese government’s Ministry of Commerce website details the controversial deal:
“The Minister of Fisheries Hon Lino Tom, the Governor of Western Province, Hon Taboi Yoto and Yan Aiwu the authorised representative of Zhonghong Fisheries signed the memorandum.”
The Chinese Ambassador to PNG Xue Bing and other dignitaries witnessed the signing.
“Minister Tom said PNG encourages foreign investment to enter the fishery sector in order to realise the potential of PNG fishery.
“Under the influence of China’s One Belt One Road policy Zhonghong Fishery Company decided to invest in PNG……”
Liberal Member for Leichardt Warren Entsch said PNG was an independent nation and was entitled to do business with whom it liked.
LAST month, the Gudang/Yadhaykenu Aboriginal Corporation took tenure of 211 ha of land in Cape York, including the abandoned Pajinka Resort and it is reported that Chinese investors are negotiating with the Traditional Owners to purchase the land.
KAP Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter shares the concerns of Northern Peninsula Area Mayor, Eddie Newman, that a takeover of the resort by offshore Chinese investors would lead to a dire situation for the Traditional Owners, and would be a major national security threat for Australia.
“I have been reliably informed that Chinese buyers have visited the northern tip of Cape York on at least two occasions to inspect the abandoned resort, with a particular interest in photographing the northern rugged coastline,” Mr Katter said.
“Concerns raised by Mayor Eddie Newman are that due to no consultation there has been no safeguards for local jobs and no reassurance that the profits will actually go back into the local community.”
Options for rebuilding the resort will be discussed at the Gudang/Yadhaykenu Aboriginal Corporation’s annual general meeting tomorrow, Friday December 6.
“Why would they want the most northern point of Australia? The closest point to Papua New Guinea,” asked Mr Katter.
“There are numerous questions here and I would think the answers are pretty ugly.”
Mr Katter has taken the step of meeting with Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, who has the power to block such foreign investment if it were to proceed.
“Losing control of the Torres Straits would be a national security disaster,” Mr Katter said.
“They’ve already handed over the Port of Darwin and given away the Ord in Western Australia. Almost every big cattle aggregation is foreign owned.
“The defence and security of this nation is precipitation for extreme anger in the United States and, infinitely more importantly, for every Australian who is just simply fed up with watching day after day the sell off of their country.
“The suits are parading around saying isn’t this foreign investment marvellous, but one day they’ll wake up in
a country that isn’t their own.”