Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch has accused the Gillard-Labor Government of stalling tactics by referring the Wild Rivers Bill to another committee.
Warren Entsch said he was looking forward to standing up in Parliament this week to put his case forward alongside Tony Abbott to abolish the legislation which restricts the rights of the indigenous people and their right for self determination.
“The aboriginal people do not need to be told by State and Federal Governments how they should manage their land, they have been doing a great job up until now and every decision that is made in terms of economic opportunity for their communities should rest in the peoples hands, not that of government bureaucracy,” Warren Entsch said.
The Gillard Government’s referral to yet another committee is just another talkfest and a stalling tactic to avoid debate on the matter.
“We need urgent debate on this so the community of Cape York can get on with business. This stalling tactic needs to be condemned as it is wrong on so many levels, the people of Cape York now have their future thrown into a holding pattern and investment in the region is also going to be placed into a holding pattern until an outcome on this is resolved. The Government need to understand the ramifications of their actions as they are holding this community back and it’s just not okay,” he said.
The Member for Leichhardt also said the Wild Rivers legislation is just one of the many impediments about to hit the Cape York community.
“The Wild Rivers legislation will be closely followed by blanket World Heritage Listing of the entire Cape York region if Labor and the Greens get their way. This will effectively ‘lock up’ the country so the traditional owners cannot do a thing with their land. We need the Wild Rivers Bill debated as a matter of urgency as this impost is hanging over the heads of private enterprise and locals of Cape York. Already we have had mining companies such as Cape Alumina abandoning their projects and deciding to withdraw their investment in the Far Northern region,
“We cannot afford to lose such significant projects to our region. A mining project of the size of Pisolite Hills would be a massive shot in the arm for the economy if allowed to proceed,
“It is obvious the government does not want to take part in the political crusification as a result of debating this bill openly and honestly, so in an attempt to take the heat off the debate they’ve referred it to a committee to send it off to the never never,” he said.
Mr Entsch says that a legitimate inquiry into the Wild Rivers legislation has already taken place, but because the Gillard Government want to stall the debate and dilute the issue and wait until they have the Green numbers in the Senate to vote on the legislation they are stalling.
Warren Entsch also questions the intentions of indigenous organisation Chuulangun Aboriginal Corporation headed up by David Claudie who recently launched a public attack on Tony Abbott over his stance on Wild Rivers.
“One has to question the intent of an organisation that is so closely aligned with the Green movement, The Wilderness Society. It smacks of a gross conflict of interest and a position that is not representative of the wider indigenous community.”
He has also accused the Labor Government of ‘buying’ support.
“I have concerns about the Queensland Government ‘buying’ support for the Wild Rivers legislation through funding organisation’s like Australia Zoo for training programs of Cape York Wild Rivers Rangers. These are lucrative contracts and I have no doubt that they are being used by Anna Bligh and her Government to sure up support for the Labor State Government,
“I see these as bribes and I will provide all evidence I have so these people will be called into the committee hearings and be questioned under oath,” Mr Entsch said.