Title

Government commissions Wild Rivers legislatio

Database

Electronic Media Monitoring Service 

Date

01-10-2010 08:11 AM

Source

ABC Canberra 666

Parl No.

 

Channel Name

ABC Canberra 666

Start

01-10-2010 08:11 AM

Abstract

 
End

01-10-2010 08:51 AM

Cover date

2010-10-01 08:11:25

Citation Id

328915

Enrichment

 
Reporter

EASTLEY, Tony

Speaker

PEARSON, Noel

MACKLIN, Jenny, MP

KIRK, Alexandra

URL

Open Item 

Parent Program URL
Text online

No

Media Deleted

False

System Id

emms/emms/328915

Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document


Government commissions Wild Rivers legislatio -

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The Federal Government has commissioned a wide-ranging parliamentary inquiry into Queensland's
controversial Wild Rivers legislation. It says it will decide whether to support the Opposition
Leader's private member's bill to override the state law once that inquiry is complete.

TONY EASTLEY: The Federal Government has commissioned a wide-ranging parliamentary inquiry into
Queensland's controversial Wild Rivers legislation.

It says it will decide whether to support the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott's private member's bill
to override the state law once the inquiry is complete.

From Canberra, Alexandra Kirk reports.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Tony Abbott has given notice of his plan to present a bill aimed at overturning the
Queensland Wild Rivers Act which places development limits near 10 Cape York River systems.

Labor has responded by announcing a House of Representatives committee to examine the state
legislation.

The Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin says Mr Abbott's bill will be considered as part of
the inquiry.

JENNY MACKLIN: There is an acknowledgement that there are issues that have to be examined and that
just putting a piece of legislation into the Parliament as Tony Abbott intends to do won't resolve
the matter.

Really what we need is an opportunity to examine these issues carefully.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The minister won't say what the Commonwealth's position is.

JENNY MACKLIN: What we want to do is make sure we can have a proper inquiry to investigate these
issues.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: A delegation of Indigenous leaders and Cape York traditional owners has been in
Canberra lobbying against Mr Abbott's plan.

They've welcomed the federal inquiry but they're at odds with Cape York Indigenous leader Noel
Pearson who's attacked the state law as heralding a "new wave of colonialism". He says with a
Senate inquiry already completed another one is unnecessary.

NOEL PEARSON: Jenny Macklin rang me yesterday and told me of their intention. And I said, "Jenny
this sounds like to me that you are putting this off to the never never."

And she tried to assure me that that was not the Government's intention. But now that I've looked
at the terms of reference this is just the Federal Government engaging in very cynical tactical
manoeuvring.

And there has never been such a small piece of legislation that is now going to be subjected to two
parliamentary committee process.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: The inquiry is supposed to report back in March but it's predicated on being able
to hold public hearings on Cape York in the wet season. How feasible is that?

NOEL PEARSON: The Senate hearings were held in Cairns in the dry season actually. And David Claudie
and Murrandoo Yanner and all of the people who have been led by the nose by the Wilderness Society
through the corridors of Parliament House this week, all of those people gave evidence to the
Senate committee.

You read the Senate report. Their point of view is as much reported as our point of view.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: Are you worried that the Federal Government may not end up voting on Tony Abbott's
bill to overturn the Queensland act 'til after June 30th next year when the Greens assume the
balance of power in the Senate?

NOEL PEARSON: Well that appears to be the strategic reasoning here. You know this is such a small
agenda item on the business of this new Parliament - one of thousands of matters that this
Parliament has to deal with over the next three years. And you're telling me that it's going to be
subjected to another parliamentary inquiry. It's just absolutely ridiculous.

ALEXANDRA KIRK: You would have preferred that the Federal Parliament vote on Tony Abbott's bill
sooner rather than later?

NOEL PEARSON: I would rather go down with an honest vote now than the people of Australia be
subjected to another parliamentary committee, another review. What are we going to have - another
20/20 summit over this issue?

We need a decision. This kind of tactical manoeuvring and avoidance of responsibility is absolutely
outrageous.

TONY EASTLEY: Cape York Indigenous leader Noel Pearson. Alexandra Kirk the reporter.