Yuggerra Ugarapul traditional owners have set up a permanent camp on the Deebing Creek Mission site, where Frasers Property are proposing to clear over 100 hectares of bushland for a for-profit suburban sprawl development project.
So far, they only have government approval for stage 1 (about 200 homes) but they intend for the total project to involve around 925 homes, which would require the clearing of thousands of trees.
This development falls under a State Government ‘Priority Development Area’ which means that no-one in the community gets any opportunity to submit comments or lodge legal objections against the development. It is being assessed behind closed doors without public input. The rightful Aboriginal owners of the land have been cut out of the process altogether.
We haven’t yet heard where Jennifer Howard (the State MP for Ipswich) stands on this project, but we’re hoping the State Government will intervene to say no to bulldozing of this large area of bushland. One option would be for the government to buy back this site and work with the rightful Aboriginal owners to manage it for the benefit of future generations.
Deebing Creek was one of the first Aboriginal missions in Queensland, but many people don’t realise that Aboriginal families were living and hunting on this site right up until the 1950s and 60s. A few small fragments of the site (such as the cemetery) are protected on the State Heritage register, and the developers are leaving small buffers to these identified landmarks, but the whole site is of significance to Aboriginal people and really ought to be protected from for-profit residential development.
You can support the occupation through donations of food/money/camping equipment (if you want, you can drop stuff off at my office and we’ll make sure it gets out to Ipswich), by sharing supportive posts on social media, and by emailing Ipswich@parliament.qld.gov.au to raise your concerns about the project.
Most importantly, you can help by showing up to join the blockade if the bulldozers start rolling in. We expect that in the next few weeks, Frasers may begin initial work on stage 1 to start clearing trees.
At that time, we will be putting the word out via social media and will need as many people on site as possible to prevent the tree-clearing. I’ll keep you posted.
Save Deebing Creek Mission