Monday, August 16, 2010

People In Glass Houses

"A vote for the Greens is a vote against indigenous rights, says Aboriginal academic and community leader Marcia Langton. Professor Langton told The Australian the Greens could not pretend to support indigenous rights while they supported Queensland's Wild Rivers laws." (Voting for Greens 'hits Aboriginal rights', Patricia Karvelas, The Australian, 16/8/10)

But how credible is Marcia Langton? What is not revealed in the above Murdoch report is that Marcia Langton was a 2003 National Australia Bank Yachad Scholarship Fund Fellow in Israel, a state that routinely violates the rights of its indigenous Palestinian Arab people, and is currently the chair of Noel Pearson's Cape York Institute. (On Pearson's peculiar musings see my posts Zionism Goes Native (11/2/10) and Earth to Noel Pearson (15/2/10))


Dave Kimble said...

The Wild Rivers legislation is definitely NOT an attack on Land Rights. All

landholders have to obey the laws, including Vegetation Management Act

(tree-clearing), wetlands, Wild Rivers (in designated pristine catchments),

potentially acid sulphate soils, coastal erosion, World Heritage and on and on. The

aim of all this legislation is to have good land management, and indigenous landowners

should obviously have to obey the law, just like anyone else. It would be racist if

one race had to obey the law and another race didn't.

Land Rights has always been supported by greens, because the indigenous communities

have declared that they love their land. They treat it as "sacred". And they rightly

point out that they have looked after it well enough for it to be called "pristine".

It is Noel Pearson and Tony Abbott who are in favour of mining, logging, irrigated

farming on creek-banks, tourism infrastructure - all potentially having serious

impacts on the river catchments.

Pearson wants indigenous people to have jobs driving bulldozers strip-mining their

"sacred land" for bauxite and whatever else will earn the mining companies a quick

dollar. You can imagine how much the miners care about rehabilitating the land

afterwards. Land Rights was never about the right to strip-mine the land.

If the development proposals will have no impact, or a manageable impact, then they

will be allowed to proceed. If they will seriously harm the river catchment, then the

development application will not be granted.

Since development applications are just that - applications, no compensation is due if

an application is knocked back, so all this constitutional talk is just nonsense.

Make no mistake, this is nothing to do with Land Rights, and everything to do with


MERC said...

Thanks for that valuable clarification, Dave. Re Pearson, the mere possession of a perch in the Murdoch press speaks volumes.