FEDERAL Environment Minister Tony Burke is a “dreamer” if he believes a World Heritage proposal for Cape York can proceed before this year’s election, says Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch.
Mr Entsch has backed his state government counterpart, Cook MP David Kempton, who today slammed Mr Burke’s assertion that the World Heritage consultation process was “progressing well”.
“Mr Burke is in la-la land if he seriously thinks selective consultation through a non-elected and non-representative body is going to be enough to push this through,” Mr Entsch said.
“If Mr Burke had attended the forum at Musgrave he would be absolutely clear on the fact that this decision needs to be made with input from all the residents of Cape York.
“It makes no sense whatsoever that Mr Burke would not choose a recognised representative body like Cape York Sustainable Futures (CYSF) or the Regional Organisation of Councils of Cape York (ROCCY) to carry out these key discussions.”
Mr Entsch said the Federal Government had still failed to answer a series of questions put to it before the Musgrave meeting regarding the specific areas being considered, what economic enterprises would be available to people, what the ‘immediate threats’ to the region are or how they will be managed.
And despite CYSF writing again to Mr Burke and meeting with him in November, the organisation has never received a written response to any of the queries or questions sent in relation to the letter or their submission.
“For the peak community development agency on Cape York to not receive a response, and for the elected members of the regional councils to be snubbed by Mr Burke, is unacceptable,” Mr Entsch said.
“I agree absolutely with David Kempton September 14 will be an opportunity for the residents of Cape York to show that they reject Labor’s attempts to buy green votes in the cities by trading off the so-called ‘untouched wilderness’ of Cape York.
“Instead, let’s remove the constraints; give tenure security to the people in this area and a ‘hand up’ to become financially independent. Then they won’t need government funding to survive.”