Friday, January 15, 2010

How Queensland Labor and the greenies shafted aboriginal people

One thing I found interesting in the article from aboriginal activist Noel Pearson below was how the Wilderness Society laid the groundwork for the introduction of the wild rivers legislation in Queensland.

It provides yet another example of my belief that at heart most well established environmental organisations have, in effect, become businesses that use fear to market themselves.

In a very real sense, fear is the product that they sell to well-meaning but naive city dwellers, especially the deracinated white middle-classes in inner city neighbourhoods and the credulous and inexperienced young.

Pearson has been leading the campaign against this grubby backroom deal between the greenies and the Queensland Labor Party that has shafted and marginalised even further the aboriginal people of North Queensland.

Hopefully at the next election all the green preferences that Labor bought with this betrayal of Indigenous Australia will not be enough to save it.

And read about how the Wilderness Society was prepared to go quiet over one mine in the area, while screaming about another. Also, the farce that is "consultation" as practiced by government is revealed.
The Wilderness Society is campaigning vigorously against "strip mining" by the Cape Alumina mob, but seem silent on the Chinese proposal. Why?

It is because this was the terms of the deal the Wilderness Society cut with former Queensland premier Peter Beattie. Beattie insisted the Wilderness Society could get blanket Wild Rivers over the blackfellas' land - without providing anything to the blackfellas other than a few make-work ranger jobs - provided the Chalco mining area was excluded.

This is why the Wilderness Society is silent on Chalco and screaming loud on the other mine.

Like moving pieces in a massive game of chess, the leaders of the Wilderness Society sit down with Labor Party principals in front of a map of Queensland and they make deals about what they want and what they're prepared to give away. You give us the Traveston dam, we give you Cape York. You can fight Cape Alumina, but don't fight the Chinese.

This is how you get the Greens party in Queensland not opposing the Traveston dam at state election time. The charade of participatory democracy can be seen in every region of the state where there are networks of "catchment management groups" and "natural resource management groups". Farmers, local communities, indigenous representatives and shire councils sit down with state government bureaucrats and representatives of green groups and supposedly work out consensus solutions to land use and environmental management. But what the mug stakeholders from these communities do not realise is these processes are tokenism.

Read the full article here

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

1 comment:

Peter said...

If you read Pearson's "From hand out to hand up" published in 2007, you will see that Pearson was quite happy with the Chalco bauxite mining then. The report talks for several pages about the best ways to get Aurukun people ready for work at the mine.

The Aurukun Council has been in favour of the mine all along, and still is.

The Greens were against the mine, but Beattie had insisted from the beginning, back in 2004, that the new Wild Rivers legislation would not prevent existing permissions for major projects to be affected. The ALP is in bed with the mining industry, not the Greens. Beattie/Bligh only do green things because they know they are popular with the vast majority of voters, while throwing money and development assistance to the coal/gas lobby, and turning a blind eye to the effects of the lead smelter at Mt Isa on the community there.

The Greens have always opposed the Traveston Dam project - all those green triangles with "No Dams" written on them at the protests are Greens symbols.

Watch the Four Corners program "The Cape Experiment" and see the Hopevale traditional owners complaining that Pearson was steam-rollering his plan without doing proper consultation. The Aurukun Community didn't sign on to the plan because the case workers found the community too dangerous to live in.