Sacredness = dollar value. …

Comment on Trees on Melanka block no longer sacred? by Ray.

Sacredness = dollar value.

Ray Also Commented

Trees on Melanka block no longer sacred?
@ Just Sayin. I agree, there is that side to it as well. My point was that under an Indigenous land use agreement, native title can be extinguished, if the monetary compensation is agreed upon. Everything has its price, if the price is right.
Those who choose to be offended by this will be, not much I can do about that.
Your comments about respecting culture and sacred sites are interesting.
I was unaware that business oportunities to bring tourists into town have been scrapped because we don’t show enough respect and therefore trust does not follow. This is a shame.
Which proposals were they, because the number of bookstores and galleries in town that promote Aboriginal culture are impressive, not to mention the quality of work done by CAAMA that show a culture thriving with modern technology.
Are you referring to the respect and trust shown to local business in town that are actually running and bringing tourists into town that are smashed up, are pelted with rocks, broken into, used as a toilets, etc?
Trust and respect are a two way street, and non-indigenous attractions are also responsible for bringing tourists into town as well.
There is both black and white history in this town, and tourists come here to experience both.
Or maybe they come here for one and learn about the other, how’s that for a win win?
I believe that many developers would be keen to get involved with a project on the Melanka site, but who wants to touch it with the complications of those sacred trees?
I am sure that if one of them died due to construction activity, a huge fine would be written into the contract (dollar value).
Instead, we have an unkempt eyesore in town that could be transformed into something amazing, but it just sits there until the price is right, or they blow over in the next big storm. If it was the tree itelf that was sacred, would a solution be to propogate a cutting and plant that in a place acceptable to the Arrente?
I remember that idea working for a single pine tree that featured on the Turkish peninsula just over 100 years ago.


Trees on Melanka block no longer sacred?
Hi Russell, glad to see that three words could stir up such a response. How dare you say I am a newcomer? I have been annoying you for years.
My three word initial comment simply stated the obvious. Aboriginal groups are able to negotiate with mining companies (for example) on the exploration / mining on their land.
By negotiate, I mean an agreement to do a certain activity for a particular consideration (money). Many mining companies have been charged and fined for damaging sacred sites.
So one group has agreed to be awarded compensation for the damage caused by the other.
The importance of the site can/has sometimes determined the monetary penalty. You can google that to find the factual links.
Hence, to some degree, sacredness = dollar value is correct.
I remember being told that an event I organized needed a welcome to country speech. I thought OK that’s a nice gesture, and when approaching the appropriate body, was told “yes would love to, the fee will be $300”.
I was gobsmacked that the opportunity to share culture with visitors from around the country was accompanied by a fee schedule.
Sometimes a simple comment is enough to start a conversation, which was my intention, and that worked quite well. Just because I choose not to have my full name published does not invalidate my right to an opinion, it could be that public comment on a public forum and having different opinion to the populist thinking, could be against a policy I work under.


Recent Comments by Ray

Bailed juveniles next-door to you soon?
@ Trevor: You have nailed it, absolutely nailed it. Unfortunately is is far more common than people think or could even imagine.


Aboriginal flag on Anzac Hill: the nays have it 
To those who voted against it, thank you. I for one believe that the Australian flag up there and Territory one next to it symbolises all Australians from the Territory that served.
Yes, Aboriginal servicemen had a hard time returning home from service, but so did our Vietnam diggers, of all races.
I suppose that change will come one day, but for the councillors that voted against it represented my point of view, so thank you, your efforts are appreciated.


Will we say sorry to the Abandoned Generation in 10 years?
It sounds like Sue Gordon is getting it and is not afraid to say it how it is.
So many people on this and other forums are saying that the lock me up attitude of the last 20 years is proof that a punitive approach is not working, and we need to change to a more caring model.
Well, here is your evidence of how this new system will work for us. Once the town has died completely and it turns into a service centre only, then people on the east or west coast will say, sadly, “told you so”.
While we keep getting told an entire generation was stolen because of the colour of their skin, and feeling sorry for anybody simply because they said they were stolen too, there will be no solution, but great profits for Harvey Norman and the local bottle shops.
People hopefully will begin to see the point of magistrate Gordon, that a child living in care is better than a child dead with “family”.


Bailed juveniles next-door to you soon?
@ Alex: Not sure what evidence you are referring to about alternatives in other countries working. I have tried to find comparatives to our situation, and could not, and our society is vastly different to these countries.
My other point is when you say that what we have done over the last 20 years has not worked.
How can that be proven? In another 20 years, we may look back at this new approach and compare it to what we have been doing, and find it has been more successful, but then again it may fail miserably.
Unless we get to a point where we have two choices to compare, it is hard to outright dismiss what has been done over the last 20 years or so.


What REALLY goes on in our streets: Youth worker
@ Evelyn: You mention evidence of the government being racist when the army was sent into communities and basics cards being introduced among other things.
The army is regularly used in times of emergencies to assist communities that need it, being disaster relief from cyclones, flooding etc. mainly because they are the best equipped to do so.
The Intervention was exactly that, the government needed to intervene because a state of emergency had been declared in these communities with sexually transmitted diseases in kids under 10 years old at epidemic proportions (that is not normal for any society).
There were cases of preventable eye and ear disease and houses in chronic states of disrepair.
The Federal government needed to act and their biggest asset that is Federally controlled is the army. Despite some of the images promoted by the protesters, they didn’t roll in in tanks with M16s slung over their shoulder.
They came in Land Cruisers with the specialist equipment that was needed and were probably the only workforce with the capacity to do the job.
They comprised medics, engineers and logistics specialists. We need to ignore the rhetoric of the critics who paint a picture of a racist government sending in soldiers to round up all the blacks.
Instead we need to read the Little Children are Sacred report again, and remind ourselves of the reasons we not just wanted to, but had to do something for those kids, five year old kids playing out sexualised behaviour on each other, and then seeing pornography freely available in these houses. Coincidence?
Chronic overcrowding, peadophiles being reported and arrested for the first time because the women and community members had faith that they would be listened to and having the oportunity to give evidence without fear of retribution.
I was friends with police who worked on these cases and they said that what the public heard was the tip of the iceberg.
Billions were poured into the SIHIP program for housing as a result of what was identified. Was it done as well as it could be? No. But we all know that now. Was it needed? Well yes it was, for the government not to intervene would have been criminal.
Naturally the Act needed to be changed to allow this response to occur, it would not have been legal otherwise, the ability to do this can be traced back to the 1967 referendum.
As far as applying to any other race? My home town of Bundaberg is about to be, if not already, the next town for the basics card to be rolled out, and it is already being trialled in other areas applying to all races. It is not solely for aboriginal people.
Once again, spend the time, download and really read the LCAS report, your opinion then may change.
Many people cry foul about the Intervention, unfortunately the voices of the ones who are grateful something was done, are drowned out by the ones with the funds and contacts and reasons to make it about themselves, not the ones who need the help.


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