The Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Senator Nigel Scullion has blasted the Queensland Government for paying lip service to Cape York communities on wild rivers and for stifling their economic future.
Senator Scullion made the statements following an announcement by Qld Environment Minister Vicky Darling the state government was proposing three new Wild Rivers declarations on the Cape York Peninsula.
Senator Scullion said under the Queensland Government’s Wild Rivers Act 2005 (QLD) the Cape’s wild rivers can and has been declared without the consent of traditional owners.
“This will limit economic opportunities for these communities now and in future.
“Vicky Darling has said consultation groups will soon meet to consider the declaration of the Coleman, Olive-Pascoe and Watson catchments,” Senator Scullion said.
“It sounds like a complete waste of time as the government already has its mind made up when the minister says, “We anticipate that after some initial consultation with these groups, there will be declaration proposals for each area before the end of the year.”#
“The Queensland Government is paying lip service to these communities with this kind of Clayton’s consultation.
“There has to be full consultation that includes obtaining the written consent of Indigenous land owners whose land is affected.
“This is what the Federal Coalition has said the process must be as outlined in our Wild Rivers bill, which Federal Labor keeps blocking and delaying by referring it to parliamentary inquiries.
“Our bill is about ensuring that the Aboriginal people of Cape York have more control over their land and their economic destiny.
“It is about allowing them to work for a better future for their families and the important issue of economic development for and by Indigenous Australians should be above politics and this bill should have support from all sides of politics at all levels,” Senator Scullion said.
# Quote from AAP.
Media Contact: Russel Guse – 0438 685645
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