The 4350water Blog highlights some of the issues relating to proposals for potable reuse in Toowoomba and South East Qld. 4350water blog looks at related political issues as well.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Anna Bligh's Wild Rivers payoff to the Greens for preferences ...

On Friday last week, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh effectively announced the gazettal of 13 rivers in Cape York Peninsula under the Wild Rivers Act, restricting the opportunity for local Aborigines to develop river areas for purposes such as farming and tourism, although claiming publicly that only three had been gazetted.

As 13 rivers are involved, the native owners of these areas and the public are liable to be misled by the Premier's press release: "Ms Bligh said the three rivers in Cape York Peninsula had been gazetted following approval by the Governor, Penelope Wesley ... the Archer, Lockhart and Stewart rivers have now been declared as wild river areas."

What appears to be an act in keeping with government commitments to river conservation in fact affects Aboriginal assets extending to 13 rivers in the basins and catchments of the three named rivers, and includes "high preservation zones".

The wild rivers declarations cover 19,000sqkm, mainly indigenous freehold land. In other words, vast areas of land that were not part of the original proposal for these rivers have been added. This sudden announcement was a shock to the Aboriginal owners of these areas.
...

The gazettal of 13 rivers under the Wild Rivers Act was, I believe, a last-minute, backroom deal between the team lead by Bligh and adviser Mike Kaiser, and the Wilderness Society. The Queensland public has also been misled about this matter. These gazettals could be seen as a pay-off by the Labor Government to the greens who delivered them preferences and seats. For the Wilderness Society's urban-based ideologues, the gazettals are prized acquisitions, easy pickings from the Aborigines.


See - The Australian - Bligh's callous land grab.

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