I am deeply concerned that the state and federal governments want to turn the beautiful natural world that is Minjerriba / Straddie into a tourist mecca. Minjerriba (Stradbroke Island) is the ancient land of the Nunuccal, Goenpul and Nuigi people. The Quandamooka claim for native title was the third cab off the rank after Mabo and Wik claims were lodged in the early 1990s under Native Title legislation introduced by the Keating Labor government. Native Title law requires that all interests in land be satisfied through negotiation. This includes whitefellas with their mining leases, their fishing licences and their oyster leases.
Oodgeroo Nunuccal taught her people to look up for a bright new day but a stalemate was produced by the Quandamooka refusal to succumb to stark greed by miners and bribes from government over may years. Now sand mining has left Minjerriba and the tourist operators and carpet baggers want to move in. They want a whalehouse erected on Quandamooka land, they want a 100-seat lecture theatre, they want a gift shop, they want to boost international student numbers by promoting fake biology courses on Minjerriba, they will ruin the natural environment that conservationists fought for on Staddie, Moreton and Fraser Island in the 1970s.
19 Mar 2021
Mark Jones, a Quandamooka traditional owner, yarns with me from the Truth Embassy at Point Lookout.