House debates

Monday, 22 February 2010

Wild Rivers (Environmental Management) Bill 2010

Second Reading

9:27 pm

Photo of Peter LindsayPeter Lindsay (Herbert, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

I represent a very large Indigenous community on Palm Island in my electorate. More than most in this place I know the tremendous disadvantage that is suffered by our Indigenous brothers and sisters. I know what the actions or the non-actions of government can do to these people. I am absolutely appalled by the Queensland wild rivers legislation, which takes away the opportunities that Indigenous Australians have on the Cape. I have always said there are three things which Indigenous Australia needs to embrace and those are the three Ls—respect for law and order and governance; leadership and the will to follow that leadership; and land ownership. On Palm Island, which operates as a Soviet style collective, nobody can own the land—nobody can have their own home or their own piece of Australia, they cannot borrow against their assets because they do not have assets, they cannot build a business and they cannot invest; therefore, employment does not flow and disadvantage continues. If this does not change, Palm Island will be the same in 100 years as it is today.

That is why I rise to support the Wild Rivers (Environmental Management) Bill 2010 of the Leader of the Opposition tonight. He seeks to have this parliament overturn one of the most unfair pieces of legislation that acts against the interests of Indigenous Australia. It is very important that Indigenous Australia has job opportunities. By closing up and locking up the country, as is proposed by the Bligh government, this is what occurs. I am deeply supportive of the opposition leader’s bill.


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