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The true guardians of Australia

History, so goes the old saying, tends to repeat itself. But the tragedy unfolding in the Murray-Darling basin is unprecedented. This is new. You won’t find a parallel in the history books. It is a tragedy caused by human intervention. It is a tragedy caused by today’s governments trying to alter the course of nature.

Oh what poor custodians of this land white Australia has been. The Murray-Darling is but one example.

But why?

To answer, we must look at the attitudes of land, from a non-Indigenous and Indigenous perspectives. It’s not a simple case of black and white.

In most western societies land ownership is considered a form of security or an expression of status. Most non-Aboriginal Australians aspire to own a piece of real estate, and to meet that dream they work, they save, borrow and mortgage their lives away. Land ownership is confirmed with a Title Deed which is identified with a Volume, Folio and sub-section number on which the land dimensions and boundaries are clearly marked. On this land the owner may build a dwelling, grow or raise produce for income, or rent out the land for profit.

In rural Australia most land is used for growling cereal crops or raising live-stock. This is done within the boundaries of the owner’s land. These ventures are filled with risk: Dramatic seasonal changes; fluctuating market prices for the produce; diseases; cash flow problems; farming on unsuitable land (poor land management) and a host of other variables could force ownership to be relinquished.

Image from

Traditionally, Aboriginal people do not own land. Instead, they are a part of the land and this link was formed during the Dreaming. In the Dreaming, people were created from the land and this is the land they still inhabit. It is on this basis that Aboriginal people are claiming legal title to land, supported by the belief that the spiritual ancestors who shaped the land still inhabit it; the land still embodies the sacredness of the Dreaming events. Traditional ownership was validated if your Dreaming Ancestors inhabited a particular area of land. Traditional ownership certainly does not shield Aborigines from some of the dangers that face western land owners. However their land management techniques and their attitudes to the environment make the land more sustainable.

As Aborigines are not land owners they feel that they have a responsibility to the environment. The environment, the land, and even the sky were created in one – as were the people – and all are related. With this attitude/belief is it any surprise that the Aboriginal people never took anything from nature? Aborigines are the original conservationists and their use of land management promoted ecological health.

An example of this is fire stick farming: The burning of undergrowth in wooded areas that would promote the germination of new plants, and thus attract the animals that were an important part of an Aborigine’s diet. This burning was carried out before the dry season and was done carefully and systematically. No more was burned than necessary. Burning was also more than just sound land management; it was evidence that the land was healthy and being fully utilised. There was also a religious significance to burning: As the Ancestral spirits of the Dreaming still inhabit the land, the burnings provided these spiritual inhabitants with lands on which they could hunt.

Conservation was also extended to all practices of hunting and gathering. No more food was taken than required and no food source was over exploited. In some societies prohibitions were placed on the taking of immature plants or animals. In times of crisis, such as drought or flood, land ownership need never be relinquished. The resources have been preserved.

The western attitude to the land did not encourage sound management or preservation techniques. Whereas the Aborigines were careful in their exploitation of resources, the westerners unwittingly created vast tracts of land devastation. For instance, the over grazing of stock has rendered many areas infertile. The senseless chopping down of forests has destroyed delicate eco-systems. The salinity of the waterways is largely due to pollution. It is evident that no consideration had been given to the protection of natural resources. How little are the changes of attitudes since 1788? Land exploitation was used to advance British colonisation and became the rationale for European land ownership. It is ironic that most European-Australians view Aboriginal lands as inhospitable, barren or unforsaken, when it could be argued that the reverse could apply. Need we say more.

Whose guardianship do you trust?

It has only taken Europeans 230 years to destroy what the First Australians preserved for over 60,000 years. In another 230 years there may be nothing left to preserve.

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  1. Shaun Newman

    Michael, what about the tragedy unfolding every fortnight in the income of far in excess of three million Ausies who are surviving “below” the poverty line. As important as a clean river is it will not put food on the table for your fellow Australians, and for those millions of people clean food is the priority.

  2. Terence Mills


    Here in the far North of Queensland we have had heavy and continuing rains with December rainfall in the Cairns area delivering the highest totals since 1975.

    We have had two cyclones in recent weeks (Owen and Penny) both of which made landfall with little damage – probably why they didn’t get much media coverage – but with record amounts of rain over an extensive area.

    Much of this seasonal wet season rain (monsoonal and cyclone generated) would traditionally and historically find its way south to the Murray Darling but it seems that man-made interference particularly at the Northern end of the catchment has diminished and frustrated this life giving annual flow.

    All the National party have talked about in recent years is creating more dams in Queensland with no thought about the impacts these storages have on the natural river flows. Decisions on water management seem to be made on political criteria this quote from the news before Christmas :

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has promised $180 million for the Hughenden Irrigation Scheme on the Flinders River, Queensland’s longest.

    A further $54 million will be spent on building Big Rocks Weir on the Burdekin River near Charters Towers in the first step of the massive Hells Gates Dam proposal.

    In return, Mr Morrison wrote to Mr Katter seeking continued support for supply and confidence on the floor of Federal Parliament, where a recent loss in the Wentworth by-election has left the Morrison Government without a clear majority.

    Whose guardianship do you trust? Good question. Certainly not this coalition.

  3. Kaye Lee

    I would like to know what is happening in the fraud case against cotton farmer John Norman who it is alleged scammed the Healthy Headwaters scheme of over $20 million. After being bailed in August, against police prosecutors recommendation, he was supposed to reappear on October 15 yet I can find no record of what happened.

    One would have thought it would be news since he is a constituent of Water Minister David Littleproud (and just so happens to be related to his wife).

  4. Ken

    The cotton farming needs to be investigated

  5. Kaye Lee


    There has been plenty of investigation but it seems to lead nowhere despite the overwhelming evidence.

  6. Ken

    Maybe that will change when there’s a change of government.
    Thanks for the link with Emma Alberici.

  7. Ken

    Kaye, I will now watch this Four Corners program as it expires on the 25th
    of this month and I suggest anyone else interested should do the same.

  8. Andrew Smith

    There is this odd arrogance, avoidance and feigned ignorance of LNP MPs state and federal while Australians have been presented with perverse optics of dead fish everywhere, with mealy mouthed excuses offered.

    Another nail in the coffin, maybe, for LNP govt nationally, and also putting NSW state govt. at risk, due to anger in regions on or around waterways, and perception that large corporate farms have been given carte blanche to do what they want with water resources.

    Especially the Nats will get clobbered and become a mill stone round the Libs necks, yet they are mutually dependent for power.

    Finally, complained before, the presentation of this issue on ABC News 24 is appalling, simply images of dead fish and various stakeholders presenting 20 second or less soundbites limited to and blaming each other, drought and vague upstream ‘issues’. All inadequately explained e.g. no data, no graphical or visual explanation nor the phenomena that have no name in most Australian media (including ABC News 24), climate change, environmental regulation and holding power to account (in favour of feelings and emotions).

    I am aware of many rusted on L or NP voters in the bush, it’s not unknown for them to lodge a protest vote once a generation, this issue amongst others, could be another opportunity; Berejiklian but especially Morrison look out.

  9. helvityni

    Look at the photo and weep….

    If our Government can’t save our rivers and fish, I’ll have to start praying; maybe god will…

  10. LOVO

    Those of us that live in Far Western NSW have been living with this dire situation for a long, long time. We have very few votes. Politicians and their corporate masters have walked all over us. The Lower Darling (Barka) is near death, the Menindee Lakes are almost dry (the breeding grounds for 80% of fish species in the whole MD basin). This man made catastrophic bungle needs to be fully investigated.
    A federal Royal Commission is needed at the very minimum.
    Successive Water Minister’s and bureaucrats, both federal and state, have had a hand, (in the til), in the demise of this once great river system. Every dead fish that you see on the News has died from greed and corruption NOT drought. Some of the dead fish you are seeing on the News are 80 to 100 yrs old…thus have lived through many droughts.
    The Murray Darling basin plan was initiated to keep the water flowing even during drought…. The Menindee Lakes Scheme was initiated to counter balance the effects of drought…both are failing. WHY??
    Could it be the lack of water flows? Why is that? How come?
    WE NEED AN ROYAL COMMISSION into this debacle or the Barka (the Darling) will be dead and the Murray will be next.
    Australians need to cotton on to what’s going on….it affects us all ! ! !

  11. helvityni

    Look at the photo and weep….

    The fish better start praying, make a call to their Guardian Angels, because our Government is not going to help them….

  12. Diannaart

    Nothing I can add, apart from reiterating ”Royal Commision and ICAC” NOW.

  13. helvityni

    Shaun, why would they worry about fish and rivers, when they don’t even care about the struggling millions of Aussie battlers….

  14. Kaye Lee

    The SA Royal Commission is due to hand down its findings on Feb 1st. Considering how the Coalition have been courting the Centre Alliance pollies (like Cormann spending almost $40,000 flying to Adelaide to have a chat just because his photo shoot was more important than catching a normal flight or waiting 3 days till he saw them at work again on Monday), they could stir up some serious shit for both the NSW govt and the feds.

  15. helvityni

    Sorry, Michael, for the double posting; I did not see the first one coming up, so I sent another one… Even one of them is too many…LOL

  16. Joseph Carli

    I repost this comment from my own post because I feel it is relevent to the conversation…”

    There is an integral ingredient missing from the Australian story…and it is the awakening of a mythology for us newcomers to this land to hold as a kind of stabilising talisman to give us security of purpose and a direction toward the future…much like the Ancient Greeks held their mythology close to their lives as lessons of greater or lesser ethical or moral observation.
    The Indegineous peoples have theirs solidly fixed to their skin…there are many whites who want to “sew” that ancient mythology to their own cloth…it may be a comfort, but surely it is a cold comfort in that the obvious differences of tribe or clan or ancient bloodline just cannot be compared.
    But no…we settlers have been in this land for over two hundred years now, and it just may be time to take those first child-like steps to weave our own tapestry…and certainly it must be crossed and interwoven with those first peoples, because we have dragged them struggling and under restraint into our story-line…I am certain they are on the cusp of breaking free and resuming their own mythological destiny..but we too must commence to write the song-lines that willl tie us to this country..and secure for our children’s childrens future as secure a sense of “belonging” as those long-lived first peoples…

  17. Kaye Lee

    I spent some time with two amazing local Indigenous women – sisters who were part of the Stolen Generation who found each other as adults.

    We went out into the bush and they spoke to me about Seeing which is kind of feeling the country – listening and observing the interconnection of it all. They spoke about the health of the land – even when it is ailing the healthy land is there waiting to come back. They said we all have a connection to country and an obligation as temporary custodians to protect and nurture it.

    I asked how they could be so peaceful and so caring and always willing to help people considering what had happened to them. Thankfully, the white families that adopted these two were loving people who helped them find their real families later. They did not harbour resentment but said it had given them an opportunity to be a bridge between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people – not only an information exchange but to help us understand our responsibilities to the country.

    Individual song lines must blend in harmony if we are to return our country to health. Our skin colour has nothing to do with it. Just by living here we assume the responsibility of carers – and at the moment we are very abusive custodians.

  18. New England Cocky

    @Kaye Lee et al: This fish kill is a direct consequence of successive Ministers for Water and Agriculture allowing broad acre farmers in SW Qld and NW NSW to “steal” environmental flows in the MDB with impunity. The present problem is down to Barnyard and his Maranoa mate, David Littleproud. However, Niall Blair NSW Minister for Agriculture is equally liable at present and previous state and federal Ministers have neglected or omitted this important matter as well.

    Politicians at both state and federal level refuse to implement a sensible protocol to prevent MDB water theft because the unelected political hacks who control pre-selection in both the Notional$ and LIarbrals benefit financially on behalf of the political parties.

    The resolution is simple ….. fix a satellite monitoring device to each and every pump operating in the MDB that will provide real time data on pumping times and durations, plus water volumes taken. Any damage or interference to these devices would be a breach of the water licence conditions and result in disciplinary loss of pumping rights during cotton boll filling to harvest. Repeated infringements would be prima fascie evidence for jail time ….. long jail time.

    Water in dams or rivers becomes blue green algae infested when there is insufficient water movement down the water profile and anaerobic conditions are created that blue green algae exploit. In rivers this occurs when flow stops. In dams it frequently occurs in summer in residential water storage dams.

    This present tragic disaster is down to the policies implemented by Barnyard and continued by Little proud to protect the upstream broad acre farmers at the expense of every down stream agricultural enterprise and community.

    The only way to correct this problem permanently is to VOTE ANYONE BUT NAT$

  19. Michael Taylor

    Archaeology can reveal some interesting and fascinating secrets.

    For 25,000 years Lake Mungo was home to a civilisation, until the lake dried up 15,000 years ago.

    The skeletal remains have one constant: the teeth have been ground down due to the daily task of chewing on reeds, that would be made into nets.

    And in the hearths, the bones near the fish ears also have a constant: they are all the same size – large, indicating older fish.

    This shows that the inhabitants were the original gill net fishers. The nets were designed to catch the larger fish only.

  20. Andrew Smith

    Unfortunately it reflects the corporatisation, corruption and ownership of LNP politics, MPs and many Quangos with public blathering and half truths, underpinned like in other sectors, by regulations and compliance processes which are often developed by/for the top end of town.

  21. Zathras

    50,000 years of living in harmony with the environment, then trashed by civilisation in a couple of hundred years, partly by chasing dollars via planting environmentally unsuitable crops.

    Here are some statistics on growing cotton –

    20,000 litres of water produces just 1kg of cotton (roughly 1 T-shirt & a pair of jeans)

    Cotton consumes 26% of irrigation water for only 8% share of our total export $’s and

    Produces only $669 value per megalitre of water. (Compared to $8,409 for beef and $8,362 for veggies).

    I suppose we could offer those affected the standard conservative response – “thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers”.

  22. Diannaart

    ….we will compare hemp to cotton, as cotton is a very popular resource used in clothing production. We’ll need to focus on various areas that have to be taken into consideration when comparing the two so we can determine not only what is better for us, but also what is best for our environment as it’s important to view things holistically. Let’s do it.


    Cotton: To grow cotton you require about 1400 gallons of water for every pound you intend to produce. That’s a lot of water! Some areas of the world that produce cotton are running out of fresh water due to the production of cotton as well as clothing. Some areas of the world have even experienced desertification as a result of producing cotton.

    Hemp: You require about half the amount of water to produce hemp as you would if producing cotton. Hemp is a strong and reliable plant that grows very quickly. Not only that, hemp produces about 200% – 250% more fibre in the same amount of land compared to cotton.


    Cotton: One of the biggest downsides to cotton is how much pesticides are used to grow the plant. Although organic cotton farming is beginning to catch on a bit more, the production of cotton worldwide takes up about 25% of the world’s pesticide use. The other unfortunate factor is that these chemicals can end up being absorbed into our skin as we wear clothing.

    Comfort & Longevity

    Cotton: Generally very comfortable to begin with, as you continue to wear cotton it ‘breaks in’ to become even more comfortable. There is no denying how soft cotton can be, but it is also true that cotton fibres break down over time and the more it is washed the faster it breaks down.

    Hemp: The hemp fibre used in clothing is a strong natural fibre that, like cotton, gets progressively softer with each passing day you wear it and each time you wash it. Although it may not start off quite as soft, it is still soft and certainly would not be considered uncomfortable. The plus is that the fibre is much stronger and durable. Repeated washed will not break the fibre down anywhere near as quickly as cotton. Creating more hemp clothing would mean we would need to produce much less clothing.

    And there’s more at the following link

    We cannot return to hunter gathering, but we can learn from First Nation people, farmers, scientists and other experts the best way for sustainable production.

    Corporates are only expert in making money. Time to put these parasites where they belong, at the very back of the queue of economic importance.

  23. Carol Taylor

    Shaun, a clean environment DOES mean food on the table.

  24. my say

    Where has all the money gone ? that was allocated to save the Murray Darling

  25. Paul Davis

    My say … ask the politicians especially Joyce and Wong.

  26. whatever

    The new kids on the agricultural block, the hydraulic fracking cowboys, are also being allowed to use huge volumes of water like there’s no tomorrow.

  27. lawrencew winder

    Surely, this will finalize the myth of the outstanding skills of Ruling Rabble management, surely?

  28. Terence Mills

    This is an extract from an article by Ian Douglas a national coordinator of Fair Water Use (Australia) back in 2012 :

    Our current constitution affords us no meaningful protection from the activities of the increasing number of private investment companies, both local and offshore, seeking to drive Australia’s water-wagon. Ignoring the fact that the United Nations has indicated that, in less than a decade, 1.8 billion people will suffer extreme water scarcity, as a nation we blindly continue to surrender control of water to the private sector.

    The nation faces a stark choice between continuing passive acceptance of market-driven exploitation of a vital natural resource or insistence that governments reassume sole and transparent responsibility for our water future. The seemingly endless chaos and community schism surrounding the drafting of the Basin Plan is an inevitable consequence of the former.

    Existing arrangements governing water management are ridiculously complex and frequently conflicting: they must be replaced with a coherent, single-tiered strategy.

    This is the full article :

    We definitely need a Royal Commission into what has happened to the $9 billion.

  29. David Bruce

    I seem to recall here was some talk of integrating the Australian Constitution with the Indigenous Constitution (yes, there is one)?

    It would seem that some additional powers would need to be transferred from the States to the Federation for that to work?

    Currently, business and the private sector are very good at playing one State against another for special tax, land and resources deals.

    Boeing and Virgin Airlines both got good deals from the Queensland Government at the time they were considering Head Office relocations.

    We seem to be lacking statesmen and stateswomen in our Parliaments, so I am beginning to wonder how many of our politicians and public servants are Crown Agents!

  30. Diannaart


    It has come to this, ceremonies which have been and are held throughout the year by councils, including the 26th of January, must now ALL be held on the 26th?

    I mean that’s what Scummo wants, no other citizenships days apart from the inaccurately named Australia Day?

    And 17th September … but no more choice?

    Has anyone thought this through?

  31. Aortic

    I know where my thongs are but may have to institute a family search for the board shorts. Still Morrison has probably prayed for a solution and this is what god has decreed for 26 Jan.Makes as much sense as Ivanka Trump heading up the World Bank I suppose. The older. I get the more I remember a letter written to the MSM stating as he came to the end of a long and fruitful life he was more and more convinced that anyone who thought they knew better what was good for him, than he did himself should be quietly led away before they do harm. Exactly.

  32. Michael Taylor

    Dianna, a lot of people have been calling for Jan 1 – the date in 1901 when we actually became a country – but I vehemently oppose this. While researching my honours thesis (about the years leading up to federation) it became apparent that one of the driving forces behind federation was racism, in particular, to create an “Australia for the white man.” This was enshrisined in the Immigration Restrcition Act 1901, the first piece of legislation passed by the new parliament. That Act is better known as The White Australia Policy.

  33. Diannaart

    Yeah, nah, Michael.

    Agree Jan 1 is out for reasons you gave.

    And Jan 26th for similar reasons.

    Expecting a certain Scummo to be trying to whistle up a sturm und drang leading up to Invasion Day.

    We deserve better.

  34. andrino apolloni

    I have had a different idea to the murray darling fiasco from the get go. 20yrs ago, I recognised that climate change was going to come. It meant a lack of water. Relatives in the riverina were given 0 water allocations . Then Howard, god bless his unimaginative soul, the barstard ignorat. $13b dollars down the gurgler. Shuffling scares resources to save what? Neither agriculture nor the environment are safe. Ask blowfly barney how its all going. Isnt the special p[erson fopr droughts?
    The solution I proposed was a giant desal scheme feeding the snowy mountains, run on solar power. It could provide water for the agriculture industry AND the environmental flows needed. FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS. Would have been change from $13b, for sure. This is the type of infrustructure this country drastically needs, now.

  35. Kronomex

    Gosh, isn’t it wonderful to be living in Australia in the 1950’s?

    Scummo the First, Emperor…oops, Prime Minister of Standards. Jeez, talk about tickets on yourself!

    “The Morrison government’s change to the Australian Citizenship Ceremonies Code means councils will be forced to hold a citizenship ceremony on 26 January, another on 17 September, and institute a dress code that bans thongs and board shorts.” Only blue serge suits, short back and sides with umbrellas and bowler hats for the men and calf high pleated gingham, plain colours only, and delicate umbrellas and gloves for the ladies will be allowed.

    The Potato Police Force along with the Abbott Etiquette Enforcement Agency will be there to enforce the rules and remove any person, or persons, who seek to disrupt the proceedings on those two sacred days and to keep the peace.

    One further extremely important point, standing for the national anthem practice begins two hours before the ceremony begins and is compulsory.

  36. LOVO

    Migs and Di,
    I agree that the date needs to change..but to what?
    I, of course, have a suggestion 😉
    Australian National Wattle Day has no baggage…just sayin’ ….the day could be considered inclusive of all Australians …from first to newest…
    But then again how much meaning or symbolism can one ascribe to a sprig of Wattle? 😏
    The Wattle has many hues…many varieties….all surviving together in this harsh brown land. Sorta like our
    Australian National Wattle Day is a day that – ‘came up from the people and not down from the government ‘ – loosely speaking, …whereas, Australia Day came from the other direction.
    The 1st of September is Wattle Day…the start of Spring and a time of renewal.
    Australian National Wattle Day is a day for the people by the people….warts and all.

  37. Michael Taylor

    LOVO, unless it’s the Cootamundra wattle then I’m not supporting it. I’ll be pushing for the kangaroo paw instead.

  38. LOVO

    Well of course you would Migs, (Lovo waves little finger around)..
    The Cootamundra Wattle is a weed outside of its range…a pest plant anywhere but in Coota (and surrounds)…whereas the Kangaroo Paw is a West Aussie native.
    Umm..what was your point again? 😈

  39. Michael Taylor

    Forget the Kangaroo Paw then. Perhaps something South Aussie … Santa Ana lawn comes to mind. 😀

    What’s my point!!! What’s my bloody point!!! Still haven’t forgiven you for running off with my case of 1972 Grange Hermitage. And a bottle of Blackberry Nip. 😜

  40. Paul Davis

    Love the idea of celebrating something in the flora or fauna line, something truly national and commonplace, something non controversial, something truly embraced by the common folk… don’t think we can go past that prolific verdant green plant called Sir Walter Raleigh that graces almost every front and back yard in suburbia across the nation. We might need to consult with Yates on its birthdate….

  41. Zathras

    Like clockwork the annual “debate” about changing the date of Australia Day is underway and will end the same way – a lot of noise and no change.

    What’s seldom mentioned is that Columbus Day is also a target of similar annual unrest in the USA with several States replacing it with a day to recognise indigenous peoples.

    Behind the myth, Columbus was in fact a monster, the father of the TransAltlantic slave trade, responsible for the deaths (direct and indirect) of many thousands of natives and would cut off the hands of those who did not bring him enough gold and provided his officers with native women to rape.
    Hardly the benign explorer and very much different to Cook.

    Still, our history was an act of dispossession and without a treaty, not a cause for universal celebration.

  42. Diannaart

    Dear Bill

    Not good enough

    Labor leader Bill Shorten has vowed he will not change the date of Australia Day if elected, but dismissed the Prime Minister’s calls for “my rules” on the day and a new dress code as playing politics.

    Both Vincent Lingiari and Eddy Mabo died on Jan 21 (different years) and Vincent’s DOB unknown. Sooooo, how about shifting Australia Day back a week. Or, simply asking First Nation people for their vote on preferred date.

  43. SteveFitz

    There’s something about seeing dead fish in a poisoned river that really hits home. It’s another sad day for humanity as we hang our heads in despair. The catastrophic and unprecedented event in the Murray Darling probably boils down to syphoning off headwaters to feed the corporate ag-machine combined with man-made added nutrients and climate change driven unprecedented heatwaves and extended droughts. It’s the perfect storm of destruction created by our leaders and another sign of the path they have us on.

    We vote our politicians into power and we naturally expect they will look after society and look after us and look after our country. The reality is, they look after themselves and those with the most money and power and, stuff the rest of us, stuff society and stuff the environment. We see it over and over again with the same pattern repeating throughout right-wing western societies. The reality of a million dead fish just adds to the political stench.

    The LNP have another 4 months to dragging down and undermine the opposition and brain wash the ignorant with lies, deceit and false promises. If they win, they will just go back to doing what they have always done and that is feed the top end of town who then feed off society driven by rampant and mindless greed. If we dropped a million dead fish on the steps of parliament house, they still wouldn’t get it. It’s all about “them”. They only care about “them” so, we need to get rid of “them”.

  44. Diannaart

    Duddums exhibiting his trademark compassion and understanding of the benefits to Australia that immigrants give.

    Here he is being very, very ironic:

    Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has refused to grant a young family of asylum seekers a visa, despite a last-ditch bid to block their deportation by residents of the small central Queensland town they have called home for several years.

    The tight-knit community of Biloela, seven hours north of Brisbane with a population of less than 6,000 people, has been fighting for almost a year to free Nadesalingnam, his wife Priya, and their Australian-born daughters Dharuniga and Kopiga.

    But speaking in Brisbane on Monday, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton told SBS News: “The family has gone through multiple court processes. At every single turn they’ve been found not to be refugees,”

    Amazing sophisticated and nuanced humour by the former Queensland cop. As if he would send Australian born children, their popular hard working parents off to an uncertain future, I mean that would be cruel wouldn’t it?

  45. Egalitarian

    Michael The salinity in the soil is usually caused by the farmers removing all the trees.I noticed this in WA years ago.

  46. Andreas Bimba

    And billions of fish and other sea life must have died when 30 percent of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral perished in 2016 and another 20 percent in 2017. This is not just bleaching but the death of corals. All humanity is responsible due to global warming. Our global warming contribution has increased under the LNP while it was falling slowly under the previous Labor government but still not fast enough.

    Those that vote for the LNP are crazy or ignorant.

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