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Monday, 19 September 2005

Redlands Shire in North Stradbroke Island Land Grab from Traditional Owners

In a provocative move, Redlands Shire Council wants to compulsorily acquire native title interests on 50 ha of land south of Point Lookout to facilitate more "development".

"They claim the land is needed for a new sewage plant but it is nothing more than a way to expand housing onto Traditional Owner land that is of immense cultural and environmental value" said Shane Coghill, Traditional Owner Coordinator at Brisbane Region Environment Council.

"We looked at the new South East Queensland Regional Plan and saw that the land that they want to extinguish native title on is very close to the new expanded urban footprint. There appears to be no clear reason why native title needs to be extinguished at all, over the 50ha. The council has failed to consider alternatives such as waterless toilets for new developments or restricting further development at Point Lookout" said Michael Petter Brisbane Region Environment Council Coordinator.

"The Koenpal People want a moratorium on all new housing or mining until there is a Native Title determination. Furthermore this land is very very special to our people and should be left for the Traditional Owners and Traditional Knowledge holders to care for and manage" Mr. Coghill continued.

"In the 21st century what is left of the natural and cultural heritage of North Stradbroke Island should be protected forever, not continually threatened by mining and housing. The island is of international, national, state and regional significance with evidence of occupation dating back at least 20,000 years" said Mr. Petter.

"The Koenpal people living in shacks and caravans now have to fight for their land rights while the Council gives preferential treatment to the development industry to build more mansions with an ocean view," concluded Mr. Coghill.

"The public should be outraged at this attack on the environment of North Stradbroke Island and the blatant attack on the rights of the Koenpal Traditional Owners of the Island" said Mr. Petter.

"We will be assisting the Koenpal to object to this move legally, and we call on the public to write to the State Government and the Redland Shire Council to oppose this blatant land grab on behalf of development interests."


For More Information

Michael Petter Coordinator BREC 39015577 or

Shane Coghill Traditional Owners Coordinator 39015577

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