The Anglican Church yesterday issued its report into the Wild Rivers Act, as reported on ABC RN’s The World Today.
The Anglican Dean of Brisbane, Dr Peter Catt, says the detailed economic and legal analysis of the Act proves Indigenous rights have been trampled.
Dr Catt said:
Today, we repeat our call for the Queensland Government to impose an immediate moratorium on the declaration of wild rivers until informed and prior consent is made by the Indigenous land owners.
And we further call for the revocation of the declarations of the Archer, Stewart and Lockhart and Wenlock river basins, which we believe to have been made without consent of the Aboriginal Indigenous owners.
If you look at this map courtesy of The Wilderness Society, the Archer, Stewart and Lockhart and Wenlock river basins are 9, 18, 17 and 11 respectively. That makes 1-6 and 16 OK according to the report.
This point needs to be emphasised. The Anglican Church are accepting the legislation where they find consent has been gained.
But generally speaking they do appear to be negative about Wild Rivers:
Decades have been spent, finding, giving Indigenous people rights to land and now we’re taking away the right to use their land for any good purpose.
If one looks at the way the Wild Rivers legislation interacts with some of the other legislation, then there’s almost nothing people can do on their land. And without having options for sustainable development, then there’s no opportunity to better themselves; to develop.
The Queensland government argues that the laws do not prevent new development, and says that activities such as mining, aquaculture and animal husbandry can occur if they meet special conditions.
I did see the claim by indigenous supporters of the legislation on the TV news that over 100 applications for development have been approved under the legislation.
Presumably the report was not superficial in its investigations. So far I haven’t been able to find it on the net.
Kim’s earlier post on Pearson’s intervention is here.
Update: It appears the report is now available here.