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Question Time: Protecting Deebing Creek

On Thursday 28 March 2019, Michael asked if the government would support the Yuggera Ugarapul people by acquiring and properly protecting Deebing Creek

You can read the question below or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard)or watch it HERE.

Mr BERKMAN: My question is to the Deputy Premier and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships. At Deebing Creek near Ipswich the Yuggera Ugarapul people are leading a group of locals and allies to save the site from development. Will the government support the traditional owners and 7,000 people who have signed a parliamentary petition by acquiring and properly protecting Deebing Creek?

Ms TRAD: I thank the member for Maiwar for the question. I think it is important that a number of facts be presented to the House for its consideration. This site had been privately owned and it was privately purchased by a developer. The transaction in question was a private transaction. I do absolutely acknowledge that this was the site of a former mission. As such, one could say that a number of human rights abuses occurred at that site. There is a cemetery there which is very important to the local first nation community at Deebing Creek near Ipswich.
I want to acknowledge very clearly that we are incredibly conscious of the history of this site. That is why my agency, the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, has responsibility in terms of working with the traditional owners and local Indigenous representatives who are party to the cultural heritage management plan. We will work with them to ensure that the places of significance under question—the site of the mission, the cemetery itself—are protected from any disturbance and any development. That is a very important commitment and that has been made very clear. That is my understanding. If that is not the case, I am happy to underscore that and repeat it for those in the local community who would like further information.

My agency has a very clear responsibility when it comes to preserving cultural heritage. I take that very seriously on behalf of Torres Strait Islander peoples and Aboriginal peoples in Queensland. It is something I am absolutely committed to. What I will not do is participate in a grandstanding campaign by the Greens political party on this issue. Let me be clear: there are a number of incredibly senior elders who are part of this community who are trying to seek a resolution. We have seen members from the Greens political party using their situation as an opportunity to grandstand. I think that is absolutely outrageous.

Ms Enoch interjected.

Ms TRAD: I take that interjection from the member for Algester, the first elected Aboriginal woman in this chamber. To profit from and grandstand on the misery of people is absolutely despicable. I think the Greens political party should hang their heads in shame.

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