Aboriginal activist attacks Qld Govt over wild rivers

Aboriginal activist Murrandoo Yanner has attacked the State Government for backing down on a promise to protect wild rivers, reported The Courier-Mail (17 June 2006 p41).

Mr Yanner yesterday labelled Gulf of Carpentaria development as rapacious and short-sighted, saying agricultural groups had mounted a successful fear campaign.

Acting Premier Anna Bligh said on Thursday that she would delay a decision to protect four rivers in the Gulf of Carpentaria – the Gregory River, Settlement Creek, Staaten River and the streams of Morning Inlet – the first rivers nominated for declaration under the Wild Rivers Act. Mr Yanner said Gulf indigenous people wanted the rivers protected.

In Parliament last week, opposition natural resources spokesman Jeff Seeney tabled a speech by Cape York Peninsula leader Noel Pearson who said he feared the laws would leave indigenous people to die on welfare. The Carpentaria Land Council, which represents traditional Gulf rivers owners, backed Mr Yanner. Gulf regional chairman Barry Walden said the State Government should hold firm.

The Courier Mail, 17/6/2006, p. 41

Source: Erisk Net

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