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Quandamooka Response to Murdoch Press Accusations

Native Title Map 2011

The Courier Mails (owned by Rupert Murdoch) has alleged that QYAC (for the Quandmaooka People) is going to sell off land to developers.

QYAC says it has applied to the State government for land on Minjerribah (Straddie) to be re-zoned to support the Quandamooka People’s own aspirations for their lands. Not to sell their lands.

QYAC says that it was forced to do this because of the intransigence of the Redland City Council which refused to re-zone the land. The LNP controls the council and the Labor Party controls the state government.

Here is the press release from QYAC.

Information Update: Government TLPI Announcement and Courier Mail accusations 20 September 2020

 QYAC writes to update you on the Land Use Planning process under our Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) and the recent rezoning of lands by the State Government. The type of use of these lands has been identified by the Quandmaooka People through consultation. The lands have now been successfully rezoned (eg for residential housing) under Queensland law to enable our desired future activities on those lands to comply with the laws of Queensland.

QYAC has reported on the Land Use Planning process to members in our Annual Reports since 2011/2012. As outlined in our 2018-2019 Annual Report, QYAC indicated that under the Land Use Planning process in our ILUA, native title lands (idenitified through consultation) had been nominated for “draw down” and that the Queensland Government would review those nominations and proceed to rezone the land.

This rezoning occurred through the formal gazettal by the Queensland Government of a Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI). The TLPI rezones the Redland City Plan to enable future land opportunities for the Quandamooka people. The TLPI process is another step in the Land Use Planning process, and enables Quandamooka People to benefit from the successful native title determination.

Unfortunately, there has been much unwarranted negative media surrounding this decision and many untruths circulated about QYAC and the Quandamooka People. QYAC want to provide factual information for members to allay concerns.
 
Quandamooka Community Engagement in the Planning Process
 
The ILUAs were registered in 2011 after the Determination on 4 July. Following that QYAC started to implement the priority actions in the ILUA.  The priority actions included the commencement of the Land Use Planning process under a Heads of Agreement with QYAC, the State Government and the Redlands City Council. The agreement set up a Land Use Planning Committee (comprised of QYAC, RCC and the State) to undertake a Land Use Planning process to identify the most appropriate use for lands identified as native title under the determination. This process commenced in 9 September 2011.
 
On 20 November 2011, to identify the Quandamooka Community aspirations, a series of land use planning consultation workshops occurred. The initial Quandamooka Land Use Planning workshop, chaired by Professor Darryl Low Choy from Griffith University was held for community to develop the Quandamooka Action Plan. All Quandamooka People and organisations were invited.
 
On 11 March 2012, the second community consultation was held, again all Quandmaooka people and organisations were invited to participate.  Many Quandamooka people attended and partcipated in an inspection of the lands.  Photos of many of the the Quandamooka people involved in these inspections and the Land Use Planning Process are attached. 
 
After these consultations, the QYAC board adopted the Quandamooka Action Plan on 24 November 2012. The Quandamooka Action Plan 2012 is a consolidated and unified view of the Quandamooka People’s aspirations and specific land use proposals for Minjerribah
 
The Plan received recognition for displaying a high level of professionalism and insight with equal regard for social and environmental sustainability by winning the Wendy Chadwick Encouragement Award and received a Public Engagement and Community Planning Award Commendation at the 2013 Planning Institute of Australia, Queensland Awards for Planning Excellence.
 
In February 2013 Quandamooka Elders participated in an Elders Conference as part of the QYAC Strategic Plan workshop process where they were taken to relevant Land parcels and advised of most appropriate planning outcome, on the preliminary work that had occurred in the land use planning process (attached photographs refer).
 
Those outcomes were shared with the Land Use Planning Committee (comprised of QYAC, RCC and the State) who received an agreed final land use planning report dated 20 October 2014. Redlands City Council noted the outcomes, but required the State to direct them to make the planning changes.
 
QYAC continued to consult on the outcomes of the land use planning process with QYAC Board, and its Elders in Council on the following dates:
 24 – 26 June 201627 – 28 August 201620 -21 May 201717 June 20177 April 2018 

QYAC CEO on several occasions during 2016 and 2017 met with Redlands City Council planning staff who had carriage of the redrafted Redlands Planning Instruments.  QYAC requested that RCC include the agreed planning information which had been provided through the land use planning process into the Redlands Planning to rezone lands and support the land use aspirations of the Quandamooka People. RCC refused, and maintained that all rezonings would have to occur at the State’s direction.
 
The QYAC CEO then asked the State government to seek Redlands City Council to incorporate the rezonings in the draft Redlands City Plan. The Queensland government wrote to Redlands City Council and it refused. 
RCC refused on the basis the State would need to direct it to do it. The State then determined that it would undergo the State Interest review process, and move to rezone temporarily, and direct RCC as requested.
 
That process finally culminated with the making of the temporary planning instrument, and gazettal, which QYAC was advised of on 15 September 2020 by way of a facebook post by Councillor Mitchell.
 
 
What is the TLPI and how does it work.
 
The Queensland Government’s TLPI applies to Minjerribah and is in effect for the next two years. As part of the TLPI, a number of land bank sites authorised under our 2011 Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA), have received a range of zonings for various activities including including low density residential, recreation and open space, conservation zones, community facilities, tourist accommodation, waterfront and marine industry and emerging community use. These zonings reflect what native title holders, have requested for these lands through the QYAC Strategic Plan and the community consultations that resulted in the development of the Quandamooka Action Plan in 2012.
 
In announcing the TLPI, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the purpose of the rezoning was to:

Provide  land and residential housing opportunities for the Quandamooka people on Quandamooka Country, being land identified through a Native Title determination

provide important future economic, social and cultural opportunities for the Quandamooka peoplecontribute to State Planning Policy outcomes for housing diversity, cultural heritage and natural hazards, risk and resilience; and

advance the purpose of the Planning Act 2016 in promoting Aboriginal knowledge, culture and tradition, and also encouraging investment, economic resilience and economic diversity. 
         
There is not a “secret deal” – The TLPI is being introduced because the RCC wanted one
 
The TLPI is not a ‘secret deal’.
 
The need for a TLPI arose when Redland City Council formally advised the Queensland Government that when it came to using its powers with respect to land use planning to support native title outcomes it would await direction from the Queensland Government.
 
The TLPI has only been necessary because Redlands City Council determined not to incorporate the agreed outcomes of the Land Use Planning process in their process. This is despite the RCC being on the Land Use Planning Committee, and having input to the final report which was agreed in 2014.
 
QYAC was consulted on the proposed draft Redlands City Plan and requested it be updated to reflect the outcome of the Land Use Planning .
 
If RCC had included these Land Use Planning outcomes in the public exhibition of their draft Redlands City Plan, all of the residents of Minjerribah would know what was agreed by QYAC, State and RCC.  The LNP also actively progressed the Land Use Planning process including the parcels in question during the time of the Newman Government from 2012-2015.
 
The advancement of the TLPI, was a Queensland Government commitment to deliver the Land Use Planning outcomes in this term.
 
The supposed land “sell off” is a lie. 
 
The Courier Mails suggestion that QYAC is going to sell off land to developers is not true. The Land Use Planning Process was to deliver on land use zonings to support the Quandamooka People’s own aspirations for their lands. Not to sell their lands.
 
At no time has QYAC ever stated it would be selling any land. At no time has QYAC met with property developers to sell off the Quandamooka People’s land. At every AGM the QYAC Board has notified the members that any allocation of a benefit requires their native title consent.
 
Claims that hectares of pristine bushland could be bulldozed, developed and sold off to the highest bidder are wrong, sensationalist and contrary to the goals and aspirations of Traditional Owners living on Minjerribah. The Board of QYAC, as endorsed by the Elders in Council has a policy position of not selling any land.
 
Any proposals by Quandamooka people for use of native title lands must comply with the State Government’s planning laws and be assessed against Council’s planning rules.
 
 
Racial Discrimination Concerns
 
Finally, QYAC is concerned that the media coverage is racially discriminatory.  Articles are clearly aimed at QYAC as the Federal Court appointed agent of the Quandamooka people.  QYAC is seeking legal advice on this matter.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this information contains images or names of people who have passed away.

Photos: Elders Conference Delegation visit to Land Bank Sites           

 



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