Cape York Peninsular

Submitted: Friday, Apr 12, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 949 Views:2277 Replies:1 FollowUps:2
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Cape York Off Limits?

This could become the norm if we allow the Government to continue unchecked.
Over the past few weeks and over the last several decades l have spent time fishing, talking to property owners, commercial fishermen, Aborigines and Government officers on Cape York Peninsular.
All are very concerned at what our Government and Government bureaucrats are doing, even the elders of Aboriginal groups don’t fully agree with the Governments action.
Over the last few years the Government has not been renewing all of the pastoral leases on the Eastern side of the Cape York Peninsular then been handing the land back to the Aboriginal people except for small portions, that are turned into National Parks leased back from the Aboriginals with extremely limited access to the general public.
The last property to be given back to the Aborigines is a total disgrace in land management as was all the ones before.
The property buildings are falling down, bats taking up residence in the house and the paddocks going back to weeds and regrowth where before was efficiently run cattle property where a family had earned their living and paid their taxes.
This is the same as previously handed back cattle station over the past decades.
Another property owner fronting Princess Charlotte Bay has just spent $890,000.00 in legal cost fighting the Government to keep the family property and now with the pittance the government has paid him he is broke after paying the loans for the court cases back to the bank (the Aboriginal people are Government funded for their legal expenses).
Where is the justice?
These cattle people weren’t the Kerry Packers of this world but hard working average people without the fortune that some people would like you to think, they were making a living for their family and paying tax and living in what we would consider substandard housing and cut off from civilization during the wet season.
Some families had been there 3 generations and their children wanted to carry on these properties.
The Government deny it is evoking its wilderness policy, which was to have all of Cape York Peninsular either as national parks leased back from Aboriginal tribal land or handed back to the Aboriginals for their management, which is nil when you consider that these properties where well managed cattle stations.
If they aren’t implementing their wilderness policy are they trying to create a black state?
At this very moment the Government is spending your money purchasing as many cattle properties on the east coast of the Peninsular to then give it back to the Aborigines, who are still receiving the dole and all benefits that white man can’t get and not even attempting to work these cattle properties.
They can be often heard say that they don’t want to work but just live in town and collect their so-called god given right to Government money.
If people don’t work and pay taxes then others can’t be given handouts, so maybe we should all stop work?
It’s time we all took a stand.
Even if it means we have to get off our butts and put a little effort in to what’s happening in Australia and lobby Governments.
As a combined group all doing our bit we can turn policy around, as politicians are very wary of losing theirs seat and all the perks that go with being so called representatives of the people.
You notice l don’t use the term indigenous people when mentioning Aboriginals as these Aboriginal people in the Cape displaced the former occupiers by force then forcing them south or exterminating them and taking the land for themselves.
This was happening only 4000 years ago not the 25,000 years they talk so much about.
The artwork dated 25,000 years or older was left by the previous people who originated from Papua not descendants from Southern India and further west as the current majority of Aboriginals are, as anthologists have proven since the 1930s.
Currently there is a fight for Shelbourne Station in the courts and during the dry season there will be a massive rally up there on Shelbourne Station protesting the Governments lack of caring for this family and the thin end of the wedge for all Australians if the Government is allowed to win.
I will be leading a delegation from down south up to Shelbourne Station when and if the court case is lost; this will not be a rally of hippies and unemployed but be people who care about Australia and what is being down to it.
I will keep you up to date with events through this column as l would like to see as many caring people up there supporting a good and decent hard working family trying to keep their home and livelihood and set a precedent for the couple of remaining families struggling to hold on to their properties.
When will Governments take our jobs and ours home if it suits them?
The Nixon family, owners of Shelbourne Station who the Government is trying to evict off their cattle property have offered to give back all parts of the property that they don’t use for cattle, eg the rainforest and massive sand dunes that are rich in silicon.
Has the Government got a hidden agenda to lease the property out to a mining company after they have given it back to the Aborigines as they did at Cape Flattery, just north of Cooktown?
The revenue the Aboriginals get from mining companies doesn’t prevent them from collecting the dole, as there is no means test on Aboriginals or making one payment on vehicles and not being forced to pay fully for the vehicle or outboard and tinnies for traditional hunting along with their high powered traditional hunting weapons.
We have created the current situation by not making our Governments accountable. This isn’t a slight against Aboriginals; they are just making the best of the current situation and it isn’t compulsory for them to even vote.
The elders of Aboriginal communities can see if changes aren’t made to the system and the young ones aren’t encouraged to pull their weight in society that there will be an ever widening racial gap instead of all people living to the common good of all.
I hope justice prevails and politicians wake up what they are doing to this country our fathers and grandfathers fought so hard for to maintain our freedom and our pioneers battled to develop into a great and free country.
Let us not lose our freedom and well being by allowing Governments to set the agenda of our lives!
Cliff operates Fish N Fin Charters & Tag Along Tours and the charter boat Sea Skip 11. 49545220 Email:

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Reply By: Joe - Friday, Apr 12, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Apr 12, 2002 at 00:00

I share your concerns and your passion for this situation. I am however just a little wary of the way you seem to denigrate Australia’s indigenous people. Please note that I said “seem to” as I understand the points and I can empathise with views expressed. Anyone who has spent time talking with “country” Aboriginals will also understand that they see many of these things the same way. My concern is that many people reading this forum will not understand and will loudly brand you (and me!) as racists.

Having said that I would like to know if there is anything I can do to add a little weight to the fight. If you publish the date of the rally please let me know.

Good on ya.

AnswerID: 2778

Follow Up By: Rob - Friday, Apr 12, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Apr 12, 2002 at 00:00
Let face it - it's sad fact that these days that if you speak out about something that is wrong such as this then you will be called a racist as a means to shut you up.
All I can say is Australia should be for all Australians to enjoy equally, not a select few - so GOOD ON YOU JOE
FollowupID: 1063

Follow Up By: Rob - Friday, Apr 12, 2002 at 00:00

Friday, Apr 12, 2002 at 00:00
Sorry that should have been - GOOD ON YOU CLIFF
FollowupID: 1065

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