The Labor State Government had secret plans to create a city of 60,000 people at Port Stewart, along the east coast of Cape York Peninsula, east of the township of Coen, according to a deep, state ALP source.
It also planned to mine much of Cape York, in deference to demands by the Greens and conservation bodies to nominate the Peninsula for World Heritage.
In 2003 the World Bank chartered a specially equipped aircraft from the US to survey a vast area north from Townsville to the Torres Strait for all valuable natural resources which included minerals and timber.
Subsequent research by former Senator Len Harris’ Mareeba office revealed the survey had calculated the value of Far North Queensland mineral reserves to be in the vicinity of half a trillion US dollars.
Another plan according to Traditional Owners is to kick-start the National Party-era space station at former cattle properties Bromley and Shelburne Bay, on the east coast.
Indigenous inhabitants of Cape York however, have no knowledge of former Premier Anna Bligh’s secret city plan, believed to be devised in conjunction with Rothschild Bank as principal mortgagee of Queensland Incorporated.
The ALP source said the Cabinet in 2010 had proposed to turn Cape York Peninsula into “one big coal seam gas field.”
A new city built on the old Port Stewart site presumably would be the base for the intended mining fields to the west.
Such a proposition would revile the eco-terrorists of the Greens, World Wildlife Fund and the more sedate Australian Conservation Foundation. These pseudo-conservation bodies have been propping up the ALP for decades.
The Labor Party does not have much option with Rothschild Bank to which it owes at best estimates $60 billion, having it origins with the Goss government of 25 years ago.
Premiers Beattie and Bligh were quick to jump onto the bank bandwagon, reportedly from which they received millions of dollars in fees. Indeed who would have thought the former, incompetent Labor Premier Bligh would have made it to the position of CEO for the nefarious Australian Bankers Association?
Depopulation of the Peninsula continues under the Labor Government as indigenous people are pushed from their traditional home lands with dodgy deals done by the Environment and Natural Resources Departments preventing traditional owner groups from utilising their vast cattle properties.
Only a few operational cattle properties remain after others have been either purchased or resumed by the State Government ostensibly to hand back to Traditional Owners.
Most white ownership has already gone.
The government cunningly selects an appropriate representative of an indigenous Prescribed Body Corporation to negotiate hand-over conditions, mostly not in favour of indigenous beneficiaries.
After the deal has been done, as in the case of the Olkola PBC, the group discovered the government had pulled a swifty by handing over five former viable, destocked cattle properties totalling 633,630 hectares or 1,565,066 acres of which only a fraction could be utilised for grazing cattle due to environmental overlays. The five properties once carried a total herd of 14,000 head.
A large portion of the holdings had been gazetted as national park, nature reserve or environmental research.
The Peninsula’s 15 PBC’s have less control over so-called Aboriginal freehold than they did with DOGIT or native title parcels.
Thus the government calls the shots when it comes to land use, in particular mining which can occur on all titles.
Shelburne Bay silica reserves
An indigenous group, the Wuthati clan, reputedly a front for Cape York Partnerships founder Noel Pearson, in the Federal Court two years ago , was handed native title over Shelburne Bay Pastoral Holding and its silica sand deposits, the largest and purest deposit in the world with an estimated value of more than $3 billion.
The inaccessible Shelburne Bay lies 150 klm south of the Tip of Cape York nestled in along the eastern coastline and is a favourite haunt for illegal dugong and turtle fishermen.
The silica sand dunes extend 100 klm south from the bay.
Twenty five years ago a prominent politician was accused of trafficking valuable parrots and other birdlife from a helipad near the towering dunes.
According to documents filed in the Federal Court in 2016 by another TO group which opposed the claim, the Wuthati totem is a stingray and there are no living persons with an attachment to the land.
Former owners of Shelburne Bay, Dal and Eileen Nixon maintained their research, beginning in the early 1960’s when the family took up the lease, found there were no living people with any connection to Shelburne Bay or were there any traceable descendants of the traditional people from the area.
As a Native Title researcher for Agforce the late Mrs Nixon proved there was only one possible legitimate living claimant to her 1 million acre grazing lease, which was resumed by the notorious Labor Government of Peter Beattie in 2003.
At the time she said the only living, legitimate claimant could have been her former long-time employee, Meun Lifu, now the senior TO of Yadaikana Tribal Council of Elders at Cowal Creek.
An examination of the board members for Cape York Partnerships, a CYLC affiliate, reveals the line-up resembles any bank board in Australia.
A number of CYP board members have bank connections including Westpac, National Bank of Australia, various merchant banks, a Secretary of the Department of Treasury, Macquarie Bank, a former private Secretary to the infamous PM Bob Hawke, P&O Cruiseships, Bank of Melbourne (owned by the Jewish fraternity), ANZ, an advisor to the nearby ALP sanctuary of Wattle Hill holding, mining contractors, a Wik representative, Aboriginal company Bama Services and not forgetting the lawyers.
This avaricious mob will have its corporate fingers well into any future development of the vast silica reserve.
If the Labor Government, pushed by the banks to repay principal and not just interest on its published, actual debt of at least $115 billion, has the political will to mine the scattered, known, substantial coal seam gas reserves on Cape York then it can do just that.
Some TO’s believe the reason for Cape York Land Council and Cape York Partnerships pursuing the disputed Number 1 Claim over all unclaimed or unallocated land on Cape York is the final part of the jigsaw to allow large-scale mining of the Peninsula.
The widely disputed Number 1 claim also will enable the State Government to nominate parts of the Peninsula for World Heritage in an effort to appease the by now, frothing-at-the-mouth spokesmen for conservation bodies.
Another Cairns ALP source said the recently announced $2.4 billion agricultural project for Cape York community Aurukun would not ever occur under the present State Government.
However it could be utilised in the future to feed the population of the proposed new City at Port Stewart.
Mining giant BHP at present is trawling among the multitude of indigenous groups, committees, PBC’s and NGO’s servicing the Peninsula, offering vast riches for ‘worthwhile’ indigenous community projects.
A line-up of Cape York Partnerships board members can be found at:
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Messages in a bottle washed up on a remote Far North Queensland beach are not the only treasures Vanessa Carey and her band of volunteers find during foreshore clean ups.
Tonnes of rubbish including plastics, ghost nets and bottles are covering Cape York beaches like never before and pose a real threat to the survival of marine life.
Sixteen volunteers from the Tangaroa Blue Foundation, which staged its first clean-up in Western Australia 15 years ago, recently converged on the Five Beaches area along the eastern side of the Tip of Cape York Peninsula.
In Maori and Polynesian mythology, Tangaroa is the god of the ocean.
Popular with the 40,000 or so four wheel drive vehicles which travel to the Tip each dry season, the Five Beaches track offers a unique adventure traversing the untouched foreshores of the Peninsula passing by huge Aboriginal middens (old deposits of marine shells) nestled between the sand dunes.
In 2016 the far northern beaches clean-up, 8,303 items produced more than 1.75 tonnes of debris from along foreshores starting at Somerset on the eastern side of Cape York near the Tip.
The Australian Government has supported the removal of rubbish by Tangaroa Blue Foundation from northern shorelines under the Australian Marine Debris Initiative with funding under the Reef Clean project providing vehicles, provisions and camping equipment.
The program also covers the cleaning up of major waterways, creeks and stormwater drains.
Hazel Bushby,16 and Dylan Long, 15 with Vanessa Carey(r) are two of the youngest members of the team
Volunteers come from a multitude of backgrounds, from young to old, originating from across the nation.
Coordinator of the Tip project, Vanessa Carey, from Townsville, said the campaigns also collected rubbish from any waterways because most of them were connected to the ocean.
“We work with National Parks and indigenous ranger groups all the time in each region who usually help us remove the debris from the beaches,” she said.
“They bring it back to camp where the volunteers will sort it for landfill, and record it but the majority goes to recycling or for art supplies.
“After that the rangers come with trucks and utes and we give it to them in bags and bulk bags. About 95 per cent is plastic.
“We went to the Tip and we found local litter definitely not washing in; it was obviously visitors leaving their drink bottles and cans behind but there wasn’t much though but there was some up in the rocks.
In 2016 the clean-up at Chili Beach, north of the Aboriginal community of Lockhart yielded 6 tonnes of rubbish.
Volunteers have quite a philosophical view of why they spend weeks at a time away from families, participating in an often arduous collection of rubbish in remote parts of Queensland.
Dylan Long,15; Peter Spelling,71; Janine Thompson,65; Romayne Westwood,64; Hazel Bushby,16; Louise French,65 and Molly Blake,26
Louise French explained her motive: “My friend Romaine was talking about the clean-up and it was at her suggestion that I make contact with Vanessa to sign up, it has been one of the BEST decisions I’ve made. I joined not just for the great opportunity of seeing another part of our beautiful country but also to help in doing something so rewarding as to save our marine life from human destruction.”
Peter Spelling wanted to do something for his granddaughter: “As a semi retiree l was looking for something different to do as a volunteer. There is so much in the news about the state of the ocean l was given the opportunity by the Tangaroa Blue Foundation to give something back to my adopted country. I have an 18 month old granddaughter and hope that in some small way it will make the future for her and her generation a little brighter.”
Volunteers collect the debris in large carry bags then take it back to their campsite where it is sorted and catalogued.
A detailed analysis of barcodes and brand names on plastics revealed much of the debris originates from overseas and not from Australia as first thought.
Vanessa and her crew have become super sleuths by tracking debris and analysing barcodes on plastic bottles which eventually identified an illegal fishing operation.
At Chilli beach in 2016 a recovered Vietnamese plastic drink bottle with a new label was reported to Borderforce on Thursday Island.
Borderforce then passed on the information to ocean mapping scientists and based on GPS points provided by Tangaroa Blue, scientists were able to map offshore currents which led to a fleet of Vietnamese fishing vessels operating illegally in Australian waters.
Well-wisher messages in a bottle
Unusual and interesting items have been found on beaches but perhaps the most intriguing was a sealed bottle containing jumbled messages written on paper, found in May 2018 at Cape Bedford, 400 klm north of Cairns
Message in a bottle washed up on Cape Bedford
It could have been hand-written by a teenager or child with a penchant for a quality car. One part of the message seems to be a child’s wish list:
“I wish to have a mansion with everyone’s own space to have my siblings, parents, grandparents nieces and nephews living in one house….”
It rambles on, “I wish I could get a good sleep….I wish for happiness to all, end war and …….I wish one day to own a Range Rover…”
The Australian Marine Debris Initiative was created 15 years ago as a sharing platform for groups or individuals to contribute rubbish data as a means to create a long-term solution rather than a band-aid simply by removing debris from beaches.
Vanessa says just cleaning up is not enough.
“We need to take that extra step and record what we’re finding so that the issue is solved at the source by education and evidence provided from the data which could change legislation.”
‘Did you lose a thong? No I found one’
AMDI data reveals how perilous it is for marine life to live among a sea of plastic and ropes much of which ends up in the stomachs of fish, turtles, sharks and many other marine animals.
This list is from the latest clean-up along Far Northern beaches:
A total of 32,552 hard plastic remnants reveal stages of degradation and duration the items have been immersed:
7621 plastic lids, bottle tops
1315 rope scraps
1068 plastic soft remnants
918 rubber thongs
913 plastic drink bottles
527 pieces of broken glass
301 plastic personal care bottles
297 foam packaging and insulation
257 metres of rope
Nearly all items originate from offshore.
Up to 40,000 pieces of plastic are estimated to float in every square kilometre of ocean. Up to 800 marine species worldwide including 77 Australian species are impacted by marine debris. Over 75% of what is removed from our beaches is made of plastic.
Tangaroablue, a non-profit organisation created the AMDI, which has since removed 1217 tonnes of rubbish over 3346 sites, staffed by 152,583 volunteers collecting 14,833,899 items taking over 390,154 hours.
News covering Torres Strait, Cape York and Mareeba