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Thread: Cape York areas CLOSED.

  1. #31

    Cape York areas CLOSED.

    Iím up here and canít get clear instructions on whatís happening,then again to get a tradie up here of any sort itís a case of hopefully it happens when it happens VERY casual up here . As someone said to this morning they wonít stop you going on gazetted roads but they will stop you camping at Bathurst head , Mappoon , Cape flattery, Janie creek, Sadd point,and virlya point .
    A bad days fishing has got to be better than any day at work......

  2. #32

    Re: Cape York areas CLOSED.

    PDR is open to local traffic less than 3 tonne at the moment and the archer has small water flowing over but passable apparently, get your gear ready the north isnít far of being open . Matt
    A bad days fishing has got to be better than any day at work......

  3. #33

    Cape York areas CLOSED.

    Phill get on explore cape York Facebook page and keep an eye on it too see whatís going on. Matt
    Thi is from the EXPLORE cCape York page posted today .

    Going forward, will this be the only way to experience the tip of Australia?

    I see Cape York Facebook pages are melting down again over the latest discussions regarding access to areas identified as belonging to or being significant to traditional owners.

    Perhaps the most significant and controversial yet in terms of Cape York tourism overall is the statement posted in an article from the Cairns Post yesterday quoting Gudang-Yadhaykenu chairperson Michael Solomon as saying that "Access to Australia's most northern point, effective immediately, has been officially denied."

    But did he say that? You will notice I utilised quotation marks in the last sentence of the previous paragraph and that's because I'm directly quoting the article.

    The author of that article also uses quotation marks several times to reference direct quotes from Michael Solomon.

    Now, Mr Solomon is directly quoted as saying;
    "I spoke to traditional landowners and we discussed and decided to close the country to tourists (at) Captain Billy's Landing, Pajinka (the Tip), Ussher Point and Somerset because of disrespect to tradition landowners."

    That sounds pretty ominous and to the point, and I fully understand why it causes great concern.

    BUT, he was also directly quoted as saying "Our discussion was to upgrade the toilet facility and water and awareness of COVID 19."

    "We also discussed the funding for the Pajinka upgrade and putting toilets and showers at the tip car park, and the toilets at Somerset are not working."

    "For health and safety reasons, we don't want people to get sick."

    "They make their own tracks and drive down the beach, they come with quad bikes and pig dogs,"

    "We have had enough and I am concerned. We have been here for a long time but cannot go forward, people just don't recognise the traditional landowners."

    Finally, and significantly, NOT in quotation marks - the article says Mr Solomon said signs would be erected at the Jardine River Ferry crossing and visitors would be permitted access as far as the Croc Tent on Pajinka Road, but no further.

    If it was a direct quote, it would be in quotation marks. This leads me to believe that there is perhaps some ambiguity in Mr Solomon's statements that have been exploited by the author to quite successfully create a stir among the stakeholders of Cape York tourism.

    So, what is the truth? I personally don't yet know how the whole story fits together.

    What I do know, is that there is some real truth in the quoted statements. People DON'T recognise the traditional owners!

    The land in question, Pajinka, as of 2019 is property officially, legally owned by a group of individuals recognised as the allodial owners of that land.

    How about we do a little thought experiment. Let's imagine, you bought a Toyota Landcruiser. A 79 series ute. You bought it when it first came out. After a few years, some new people moved in next door.

    They like your ute, and you reluctantly agree to let them use it. Most of the neighbours are cool, they drive it carefully and leave it where you like it parked after. Most of the time you don't even know it's been moved.

    Unfortunately, some of the neighbours cousins also take the liberty of driving the ute, but after a week of eating nothing but cryovac curried saus and 12 tins of Jack Daniels a day they need to go, and with no toilet around the only place they can think of is in the tray of the ute.

    So they bring it back, tray full of shit, the mirrors have been adjusted, the seat's been reclined, there's a Ford sticker on it, oh and also they got a mod plate fitted to suit the needs of just one of the drivers even though none of the other drivers know what the mod plate is for...

    If your ute was treated this way, how would you feel. Would you hide the keys? I reckon I would...

    Unless you had some serious commitment from these drivers that they would use the vehicle more respectfully, it would seem quite reasonable to withhold the privilege of using the vehicle.

    Some of you of course are going to say, "Yeah but some of them trash the car too." That's a bullshit argument, we all have our own family member or friend you wouldn't loan your car to. Still their car, and they can still choose who puts the pinstripes on it.

    So, back to the article, Mr Solomon does appear to have indicated a worst case scenario, in which they may choose to begin metaphorically withholding the keys. But he also appears to be saying that he has solutions to some of the issues that negatively impact his people. Toilets are long overdue at the tip!

    It is outrageous that a hygiene necessity such as basic toilets has not been provided at a location that benefits not just the local community or businesses, but on a much larger scale, funnels millions of dollars in tax revenue to the government. And requests for funding such an essential installation have allegedly been repeatedly ignored.

    On a more personal level, the attachment to country felt by traditional owners is often overlooked, even mocked by tourists. Any time an issue such as this is raised it is guaranteed to be met with racism and hatred from keyboard warriors who scream passionately that nobody can stop them from seeing "their country!"

    News flash - Yeah, they can.

    So what can you do about it? Here are some suggestions.

    1. Let the Gudang-Yadhaykenu people know you do recognise and respect them and their connection to country. How do you do that? I'd suggest you get creative and find as many ways as you can.

    2. Email state and federal representatives to push for support for the GY people to secure the funding they need to provide the essential services needed to cope with large scale tourism.

    Cape York is one of the most significant bucket list destinations for Australian tourism. Unfortunately, the greater region is at risk of widespread restriction if we can't collectively make a huge and long overdue shift in our attitudes and behaviours.
    A bad days fishing has got to be better than any day at work......

  4. #34

    Re: Cape York areas CLOSED.

    Quote Originally Posted by shortthenlong View Post
    I don't pay for news, can you cut and paste the meaty bits?


    My bad, thought it was open access.

  5. #35
    Ausfish Addict disorderly's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    In the Jungle
    Thread Starter

    Re: Cape York areas CLOSED.

    So who do you believe..?

    it would be a bit of a bugga to be planning a trip up there anytime soon...

    Cape york closures22.jpg

  6. #36

    Re: Cape York areas CLOSED.

    Quote Originally Posted by disorderly View Post
    So who do you believe..?

    it would be a bit of a bugga to be planning a trip up there anytime soon...

    Cape york closures22.jpg
    Iím here and canít get undisputed information,I spent half the day talking about it with people who you would think know but canít get a straight answer .
    A bad days fishing has got to be better than any day at work......

  7. #37

    Re: Cape York areas CLOSED.

    Quote Originally Posted by shortthenlong View Post
    Which bit? The closures or the busy camp sites?

    The headline by the Cairns Post is fake news (an apparent abysmal standard of journalism).

    On a broader view, the management of land by the Cape York Land Council on behalf of the TO representative organisations is a bit of a dog's breakfast.

    What's really going on is a push by TO organisations for more control with the threat of cutting off access without it seeming like a money grab.

    The NTs Northern Land Council commenced that process years ago following the Blue Mud Bay High Court Decision. Having gained control of access, the NLC then wanted $40 million per year from the NT Govt as "aid" or the NLC would cut off access to rivers/creeks and tidal land by refusing to issue access permits to recreational fishermen.

    The process for gaining an access permit was cumbersome and unworkable. If the NT Govt came up with $40 million per year grant ++++, then the NLC requirements for access permits would be suspended/modified and everybody would be happy.

    Unfortunately, the NT Govt is broke and floundering around to resolve the problem. The yiking and fighting between the NLC, NT Govt about access to fishing areas was the reason we (group of guys who made annual trips to Roper River) stopped going there in 2015.

    Similar thing is now happening with CYLC (over tourism) with reason being given as visitor degradation of aboriginal lands. Like most claims, there'll be an element of fact in that.

    What we're seeing is basically a grab for resources by the CYLC from the Qld Govt to manage the problem with the threat of access closure as the bargaining chip. Sounds familar.

    Hard to imagine the Cairns Post being so unprofessional and naive in not being aware of that.

    I see the story as a shot across the bows of Cape Tourism by the Cairns Post on behalf of the CYLC to push Qld Govt into providing more resources or access will be cut off.

    Qld and Fed Govts are keen on direct aid packages to tourism operators for covid recovery so TOs want a share to better manage likely increase in tourism numbers and any adverse effects on aboriginal land.

    Not an unreasonable point of view. I guess frustration would be a factor in how they're going about it.

  8. #38

    Re: Cape York areas CLOSED.

    Native Title in Qld a bit confusing?

    Before getting up a head of steam about this stuff, look at what the Federal Govt's Determination of Native Title Determination actually says.

    The Cape is a big area with numerous native title determinations in place so lets just look at just 1 of them. Ever popular Weipa/Mapoon.

    2 types of title can be determined. Exclusive rights, Non-exclusive rights or a combination of both.

    Exclusive rights means that the native title holder controls access.

    Non-exclusive rights means that the holder doesn't control access.

    Its the threat of denial of access (exclusive rights) that the fake news is all about.

    Denial of access cannot take place in area of non-exclusive rights.

    Here's the link to the determination for the popular Weipa/Mapoon area (the Mokwiri People). {3696b9f2-2835-e311-9059-00155d0005c4} (

    Look at pages 6 and 7 about exclusive and non-exclusive title.

    There's an accompanying determination map to show areas of exclusive and non-exclusive access.

    A lack of understanding of what Native Title actually means abounds in the community and makes it vulnerable to fake news. This thread is a perfect example.

    QLD_Cape_York_NTDA_Schedule.pdf (

  9. #39

    Re: Cape York areas CLOSED.

    This map suggests to me that the actual tip is covered by the Northern Cape York Group #1. However, when I open the actual determination with map the determination area appears to stop short of the actual tip. Native Title Determination Details ( I also can't simply see the type of determination that was achieved for this specific instance. It appears that there is both exclusive and non-exclusive.

    The land parcel tenure layer of Qld globe doesn't show a tenure over the actual tip.

    In summary, without a whole lot of careful reading and examination of mapping and descriptions in the attachment it is difficult to confirm what titling applies to the tip itself.

  10. #40

    Re: Cape York areas CLOSED.

    Yes. It does stop short of the Tip.

    The Tip is excluded from the NTA Determination.

    {3696b9f2-2835-e311-9059-00155d0005c4} (

    Pages 5-7 designate exclusive title and non-exclusive title areas.

    The tip appears in sheet 8 of the map and includes access roads and adjacent lots of registered plan SO47.

    Note that the registered plan for the tip is SO47 with lots 22, 23, 24 etc.

    On page 10 (schedule 2), you'll find this:


    The following areas of land and waters are excluded from the Determination Area:

    Area Description (at date of Determination) Determination Map Sheet Number
    Lot 3 on Plan SO4 6
    Lot 1 on Plan JD7 Inset 1 of Keymap
    Lot 1 on Plan PER6530 (7)

    Lot 22 on Plan SO47 (8)
    Lot 11 on Plan SO804387 (7)
    Lot 8 on Plan SO83 (6, 8)
    Lot 7 on Plan SO838304 (7)

    Lot 23 on Plan SO47 (8)
    Lot 24 on Plan SO47 (8)
    Lot 25 on Plan SO47 (8)
    Lot 26 on Plan SO47 (8)

    Plan SO47 is excluded from the Determination area. That means there is NO exlusive native title applicable to the tip.

    So much for the seemingly official fake news about closures.

  11. #41

    Re: Cape York areas CLOSED.

    Good outcome for tourism.

    Is it gazetted road from the Jardine to the tip?

    Is there an obligation for the ferry to operate?

    Is it still legal to ford the Jardine if the ferry isn't operational?

  12. #42

    Re: Cape York areas CLOSED.

    The fake news was long on generalities and short on specifics (as fake news usually is).

    The adverse effect on tourism is the overall message that is sent to the community which is:

    " there's uncertainty about our planned trip to Cape York. Don't want to go there if it really is closed access. Will postpone or cancel plans" and THAT'S what's currently happening.

    There's a pretty smart guy who is/was part of the Cape York Land Council called Noel Pearson who wouldn't be part of any half-baked attempt like this one to sew confusion at this stage of any call for a domestic tourism led covid recovery in NQ.

    Your 3 questions:

    With yr new-found knowledge about how to wend yr way through the mysteries of native title determinations and exclusive/non-exclusive conditions, its a pretty interesting exercise for you to investigate.

    What you'll find with this stuff, is that there's a heap of people who should know (but don't) about how native title determinations affect them and their immediate surroundings.

    Have a look at the Darumbal determination for CQ and the confusion that exists within DAF's Yeppoon office about it.

    Fella with a family surname the same as one of the Darumbal claimants is happy to be confidently wrong about similar things in respect of fishing rights in this region.

  13. #43

    Re: Cape York areas CLOSED.

    Quote Originally Posted by CT View Post
    Good outcome for tourism.

    Is it gazetted road from the Jardine to the tip?

    Is there an obligation for the ferry to operate?

    Is it still legal to ford the Jardine if the ferry isn't operational?
    If the tax payer have paid for the road i say its gazetted but that's just my opinion.

  14. #44

    Re: Cape York areas CLOSED.

    Spoke to Northern Peninsular Area Council who operate the Jardine River ferry.

    There was never any intention by the NPA to stop the ferry with a view to cutting off access to gazetted roads north despite all the hype, fake news and scare-mongering.

    Mayor (although sympathetic to NTA complaints) cannot order the ferry to stop which is the only way to deny access to the north.

    Because the tip itself and gazetted roads are NOT part of NTA determinations, the NPA is responsible for infrastructure work (public toilets, rubbish, regulating activities) - NOT the aboriginal corporations and native title holders.

    The intention is to simply raise the ferry prices to offset costs of NPA maintenance on property which is the responsibility of the NPA. An extra $10 per ticket was a price quoted to me.

    Camping sites like Somerset, Ussher Pt etc are the responsibility of the native title holders for any maintenance or regulation required (there are NTA rangers).

    Whole episode is a beat-up, unprofessional and the players seem to have shot themselves in the foot because the solutions to the claimed problems were the responsibility of the complainants themselves all the time.

    On public areas (eg the Tip), gazetted roads and public land.......................... the Northern Peninsular Council

    The campsites on exclusive native title land..............................the Native Title holders themselves.

    Cairns Post needs a "good pull-through with a pine tree" to instill some journalistic professionalism.

    Cairns Post is a print version of the ABC.

  15. #45

    Re: Cape York areas CLOSED.

    A bad days fishing has got to be better than any day at work......

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