Aboriginal leader Gerhardt Pearson has warned that Cape York could face a Wild Rivers-style battle over perceived attempts to lock up parts of the far north Queensland peninsula to new mines.
The Australian is reporting Mr Pearson, executive director of the Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation, has accused Queensland’s Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad of trying to “dupe” traditional owners into agreeing to permanent mining bans.
“The state’s Treasurer is urging landowners to sterilise hundreds of thousands of hectares on Cape York from any mining,” he said.
“These landowners only got their title deeds in the last couple of years. Shouldn’t the Treasurer be the first politician to be concerned with economic development and ensuring land is not locked up unnecessarily, even before anyone — let alone the traditional owners — is aware of its economic potential?”
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