Hi Russell, glad to see that three words could stir …

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

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.

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?
Sacredness = dollar value.


Recent Comments by Ray

More government handouts for alcohol traders
Can we get a program called HomeSecure, as once they discover it’s harder to steal from the shops, our backyard beer fridges are next.
Close down all the IGAs and smaller licences, in exchange for them running an off site seperate Dan Murphy’s.
Only one store to patrol, pricing in line with national prices, and secure to prevent break-ins.
We get lower prices all the time, a lot less police needed for the only solution that ever really worked, and less humbug at shops. Problem solved.


How much of our relationship with Aborigines is hypocrisy?
The battle to fall over ones feet in the race to show how much Australia respects it’s Aboriginal people is nauseating to me, and obviously also to Mr Baranski.
The Welcome to Country ceremonies that are no more than tokenistic gestures for tourists are everywhere and are unfortunately portrayed as a long held traditional cultural ceremony, when in fact they were invented in 1984 in part by Ernie Dingo.
The Aboriginal people in suits nod along when our so called leaders play this game and the fee of sometimes thousands of dollars is paid.
Sadly it makes no difference at all to the lives of the traditional Aboriginal people who struggle to successfully integrate with our modern society.
Same with the divisive acknowledgment of country where we humble pay respect to Aboriginal elders or leaders past, present and in a crystal ball moment, those of the future as well.
They fail to mention anything about the hard work, determination, resourcefulness and hardships endured by the pioneers and explorers that made the country what it is today, failing to mention them is blatant hypocricy and once again there seems to be no real advantage for the bush Aboriginie who should somehow appear greatful they live in the town that boasts one of the biggest renal dialysis facilities in the southern hemisphere.
So much rhetoric and time is spent on issues of the past so the politicians and handwringers feel good they have paid respects, but how many of them, or these tour guides have sat down with real traditional people and understood that they really don’t care to much for tokenistic gestures, because they do nothing for them.
On the surface in the big cities with all the billboards about Aboriginal history, place names, tribal groups makes it seem that all is well, then people see what is really like for the traditional Aboriginal, as opposed to those of mixed heritage.
I quite often attend sporting events and occasionally officiate at them, and to look out at the crowd to see black and white sitting together shoulder to shoulder demonstrates that this is probably one of the least racist towns I have lived in.
Many social outings in this town have a lot of blacks and whites just mixing as workmates, team mates of simply as friends.
Unfortunately the current political PC rubbish is causing more of a divide than anything.
I just wish they would forget their apologist ideals and self flagellation, and accept that we all make up this country, and we should give understanding and respect to everyone that lives here, not hold up one as more important, or more deserving of acknowlegement than the other.


If you can climb Mt Everest and in Yosemite, why not Uluru?
Former NT Surveyor Marc Hendrickx has been speaking nationally against the absurdity to closing the climb.
As he points out there was never any cultural taboos about climbing it until the rangers bean telling the TOs that climbing it disrespecting their culture.
Quite a lot of misinformation is clarified as well.


Aboriginal gallery is bound to have a stone wall
Erwin the breakup of figures to the poll are available from the website. I asked the same question and got a very straight answer. From memory about 58% for that location, the rest not fussed.

[ED – Thank you, Local 1. Please see update to our report.]


Snooping bureaucrats, clinics for Aborigines only
Interesting, however you will mostly find that if you call into the clinic itself (Congress, I suppose) they will allow you to book in for an appointment if you wish as I have done. They themselves say they cannot discriminate.

[ED – We invited Congress yesterday to comment but have not received a reply.]


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