The Struggle for Musgrave Park

This is a report of what is happening in the struggle for Musgrave Park.

Both Brisbane City Council and police are determined to win back control of Jagera Land (Musgrave Park) after successful Invasion Day activities at parliament house, Southbank and Musgrave Park on Saturday 26 January 2013.

Brisbane City Council Rapid Response Group (4 trucks and 10 officers) and police (3 cars and 6 officers) came in force again last night despite the ongoing flood crisis in Brisbane.

Council compliance officers and police attempted to disrupt the tent embassy meeting which is held every Wednesday at 6p.m. on Jagera land with the permission of traditional owners.

Despite intervention by council officers and police, the tent embassy meeting continued after the interruption and the sacred fire was re-lit.

During the tent embassy meeting we heard reviews of Invasion Day activities 

and planned future activities like the 1,000 warrior march from Musgrave Park to the NRL All Stars vs Indigenous All Stars game @ Suncorp Stadium (assemble at Musgrave Park, 10 am Saturday 2 Feb 2013).

When the BCC Rapid Response Group came to put out the sacred fire, I handed the chief BCC compliance officer (Rick) the attached letter which states in part:

‘The land (pictured above) is currently leased to the State of Queensland and is designated for ‘aboriginal purposes and no other purposes whatsoever’.

The Council officer read the letter but maintained that Council had authority to put out the sacred fire despite opposition from a traditional owner in attendance.

As the letter states it is not the purpose of Heath Safety and Amenity Local Law 2009 to prevent the carrying-on of aboriginal social, cultural, educational business that occurs at tent embassy meetings and functions. Nor is it the prerogative of the Brisbane City Council to say what should occur on that land. Brisbane City Council gave up that right when it leased the land to the State of Queensland in order that the land could be used for ‘aboriginal purpose and no other purpose whatsoever’. The compliance officers seem to think that the land is part of a public park. It is not, it is a grant-of-land in fee simple i.e. it is private land.

BCC Rapid Response practice Health & Safety in putting out the sacred fire in Musgrave Park on 30 Jan 2013

This is the basis of our legal claim to conduct aboriginal business on that land.

The struggle for Musgrave Park has been a very long fight, with many twists and turns, as you can see from the attached letter.

Many have participated in this struggle and, thankfully, some of the older people are still alive today to continue in that fight.

It is so good to see how younger people have taken up the struggle and particularly how they conducted themselves on Invasion Day.

The Sovereign Rights movement is in good hands.

Invasion Day 2013 dances from Lachlan Hurse on Vimeo.

Ian Curr
0407 687 016

Letter to BCC Review Appeals Officer 29 Jan 2013.docx

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