Quandamooka versus Queensland: A tale of law, PR and Stradbroke Island
I was coming from Roma St Station towards Kurilpa Bridge to the Queensland State Library yesterday thinking about my aboriginal studies with a final assignment due on Monday. I was trying to figure out how crucial dignity was to three Indigenous ambassadors from different times, Bennelong, Bussamarai and Noel Pearson. Suddenly, out of nowhere appeared two men with an Aboriginal flag …
The constitution says that when State and Federal law clash, the latter should prevail. But not for the moment, and the unconsulted Straddie Aboriginal people had to take it to the highest court in the land. It was blatant lack of regard, something my reading of the history told me happened time and time again across the country since 1788. Straddie is close to Brisbane but bridgeless, much to the delight of most of its residents black and white plus most of the visitors that make the ferry. Visitors are not new. Straddie has been home to humans for over 20,000 years… The British felt no permission was necessary to establish this colony, enforced at the butt of a carbine. They first landed on Straddie, the same year – 1824 – as they landed in Brisbane. At a place the islanders called Pulan, they built a pilot station overlooking the strategic exit to the ocean. Whites later renamed it to Amity Point. …
Whatever happens, the dignified Aboriginal elders outside the High Court yesterday won the moral battle. Their dancers performed a smoking ceremony where they blessed their own people and all other by-standers, including the media filming the ceremony. “It your job,” a Quandamooka dancer told them – us, me – “to tell the world”. These people are proving that dignity very much matters. … http://woollydays.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/quandamooka-versus-queensland-a-tale-of-law-pr-and-stradbroke-island/
Aunty Evelyn Parkin and her sister Grace Graham are Quandamooka people from Stradbroke Island, just an hour’s drive and boat ride from the heart of Brisbane’s CBD.
Today with their family, they have lodged High Court legal action against the Queensland Government, which could test the Federal Government’s 21-year-old Native Title Act of 1993.
In its most basic terms, the Quandamooka people will argue that there is a case where the state legislation – the Newman Government’s decision to extend sand mining leases in 2013 – is inconsistent with the Commonwealth Government’s 1993 Native Title Act legislation.
And they believe it overrides the 1992 Mabo ruling that Aboriginal people have rights over their traditional lands.
Article drawing parallels between Seeneys response on Clive Palmer and Sibelco’s special treatment by Newman government. Article by Stephen Keim SC
Mark Robinsons comment’s in parliament
6 June 2014
MP Mark Robinson (Cleveland):
In terms of North Stradbroke Island, this year’s state budget has delivered good news for North Stradbroke Island’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents. The Newman government has committed $1.4 million for various projects designed to improve access for visitors to the island. The investment will assist in growing the pillar of tourism on the island as we move towards a non-sandmining future by 2035. This funding comes on top of the $200,000 already allocated to promote Straddie as a tourism destination. The government is also committed to the future preservation of Straddie, with additional funding to maintain facilities, to manage the national park areas and to go towards the implementation of the Quandamooka Indigenous Land Use Agreement, or ILUA. The Quandamooka people will receive a further $580,000 to assist in capacity building to provide a brighter future for the Indigenous people of the island. I am honoured to continue to be the member of parliament who represents the Quandamooka people, as the majority of the Indigenous people who constitute the Quandamooka people live on North Stradbroke Island within the Cleveland electorate. I was honoured to be their member through the establishment of their native title claim which this government, then in opposition, supported. Since forming government we have implemented the ILUA, and we have continued to invest in capacity building in this budget.
I remain grateful to the Quandamooka residents and families on the island for their strong support, which has continued to this day. They voted at the Dunwich booth on North Stradbroke Island to support the government’s direction with respect to the future of North Stradbroke Island and our amendments to the North Stradbroke Island Protection and Sustainability Bill. It was the Quandamooka people who helped install this government and provide the mandate for this government to bring the changes that they wanted, so it is a little disappointing today that some individuals are taking this court action because the island community, including the Quandamooka residents, strongly supported the LNP government’s direction with respect to their future and sandmining. The overwhelming majority of Quandamooka residents support our transitional plan for their future as it provides great jobs, meaningful livelihoods and opportunities for their families, youth and children.
It is disappointing that the Labor Party’s actions in this House today show that they want to hold the Quandamooka back and promote their dependency on the government rather than support the opportunity for them to stand proudly on their own two feet—but this is the socialist Labor way. I urge the few individual Labor Party members on and off the island that are behind this court action in concert with the Labor opposition to consider that taxpayers’ funds could be better utilised building capacity and creating jobs and opportunities, housing and other things that the people badly need rather than spending it on legal fees. This government in this budget continues to support the Quandamooka people of North Stradbroke Island, as we said we would.