Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Tasmanian Aborigines want a cut of land tax

Tasmanian Aborigines want the State Government to hand over a proportion of land tax revenue.

Representatives from the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre met Premier Lara Giddings this morning to discuss issues including heritage protection, education and land return.

Spokesman Clyde Mansell says they also raised concerns around funding for the Aboriginal community.

He says they have asked the Government to consider giving Aborigines five percent of the state’s land tax revenue, or around $4.3 million a year.

“That money would be invested into a community fund and provide the community with an opportunity in terms of land management,” he said.

“Provide the community with an opportunity in terms of land management and business development so we become less dependent on Government, so hopefully in a 15 year period we’ve got the Aboriginal community becoming more self sufficient and taking the burden as they say off the Government.”

The group has also put the return of six areas of land back on the agenda.

Mr Mansell says they want the return of 90,000 hectares of land across the state back on the agenda.

“They’re areas that have been on the agenda for quite a while and previous Labor governments give in-principle agreement to returning those areas, so we’re hopeful,” he said.

“They’re areas like Mt William National Park, Rocky Cape and some areas down the West Coast.”

The Premier Lara Giddings says the meeting was an important step in recommencing positive dialogue with the Aboriginal Community.

She has agreed to raise their ideas for discussion at the next Aboriginal Affairs Sub-Committee of Cabinet.


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  1. John Wade

    August 25, 2011 at 1:47 am

    Psst, William, you got the cat by the tail and wrong tail.

  2. William Boeder

    August 25, 2011 at 12:49 am

    #29. Dave I thought you were more of a thinking person than you have just displayed in your comment, the issue in question is not about me it is toward the dispossed lands so readily assumed by monarchs and other such conquerors.
    A little more studied concentration to the article matter may help you with your perspectives!

  3. Dave

    August 24, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    #27 If you are suggesting the land you currently occupy in Tasmania was stolen then clearly it is your legal and moral duty to return it if you know who it was stolen from? I think it reasonable from this string to assume that you believe your land was stolen from the indigenous community?

    I feel sure that the local North West indigenous community will be most appreciative of your lands return to them. I assume that I can look forward to reading of your generosity in the Examiner, you now have the opportunity to set a moral benchmark for the rest of us.

  4. William Boeder

    August 24, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Russell Langfield, I note that during the reign of Queen Victoria of England who at that time in history had became the monarch of arguably the most bloodiest and greediest of all rulers of the day.
    (As for blood-thirsty or blood-spilling, She may have even toppled King Leopold of Belgium, and also ruler of the proclaimed Belgian Congo?)

    Twas before and during her time that so much of the world was taken by England to become British ruled dominions, territories, States and whatever else other places where soon stood the British Flag.

    It could also be said that during this era of England’s rise to become such an extraordinary rapacious conqueror and powerful ruler of such huge and mighty realms throughout the world (through its history methods of stealing the rights of all indigenous owners of said provinces, dominions, territories etc that soon fell under British rule and administration, (or was stolen, choose the term that suits the argument,) that it’s actions in those days were not unlike the power of multi nationals and corporations today?
    Another Country that has its indigenous people receiving monetary recompense directly to its indigenous tribes of Inuits, is that of Alaska, where royalties or some form of recompense is the order of the day.
    Then of course there is some sort of piss-pot little amount paid to the indigenous people of West New Guinea, but as this money
    passes through its notoriously unstable corrupted government it is arguable to say that these monies would ever reach the very people intended, which is still to be fully established this very day.
    The mighty corporate rulers of most all fossil fuel exploitative companies generally have some sort of returns intended for the people of these countries also, yet again who actually receives the recompense is largely due once again to their government or their rulers of the day.

    So very much of England’s past predatory conquests and the recorded history thereof contain the facts of their occurrences, the true facts of these events are still available to this very day.
    Therefore it is safe to say that precedents of payments of some kind or another, arguably are being paid to the former traditional indigenous owners of those lands!

  5. Russell

    August 24, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Re #26

  6. Dave

    August 24, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    #23 No Russell it doesn’t show that the English have a history it shows that history is the reporting of fact and is to a lesser extent an interpretation of the facts. Historical reporting and analysis should be done without personal moral overlay. Morality changes from person to person and from generation to generation facts do not. There would not be a single period in history when someone, some group or nation was not displacing or seeking to displace his/her neighbor, steal/occupy his neighbors land or subjugate another nation and its people by force or migration. If we were to accept your proposition that current day Australians should pay rent as an ongoing apology to the indigenous community do you seriously argue that this makes sense in the context of world history? Your argument has slipped into absurdity.

    Your personal morality that is the code by which you live and view your own dealings with the world is your affair but when you believe that it gives you the right to impose it on others it is reasonable that it be closely examined – those who live in glass houses should be careful when they throw bricks modern glass can see the bricks bounce back.

  7. Russell

    August 23, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Re #24
    True William, but only after many years, often decades, in court where the indigenous Australians have to “prove their continuous connection to the land.”

    How insulting that people who were beyond any argument here long before we even dreamed of setting sail have to prove their connection to this land in order to get back a miniscule portion of what was stolen from them.

  8. William Boeder

    August 23, 2011 at 7:32 pm

    Is it not a fact some of the indigenous people from various tribal lands within Australia are already receiving royalties from private developments?
    Could this be rated within the realm of levies or taxes paid to said indigenous people, I do believe so?
    Tis a matter of wait and see if the indigenous owners of the extensive ranging land allocated to the Woomera Rocket Range in the days of servitude to the British Commonwealth, (now being opened for mineral exploration,) will equally receive such payments or rights as in the aforementioned.

    I do believe that the Sly types in government will do their utmost to hamper any monies being provided to the traditional land-owners as a form of recompense in either taxes or levies as applicable to the precedents already set in place in the above referred to cases?

  9. Russell

    August 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Re #22
    It just goes to show that the same people (the English) have a history of it, doesn’t it?

  10. Dave

    August 23, 2011 at 2:13 pm


    In view of your theory about historical displacement providing a good argument for financial reparations perhaps you could advice me on how I go about getting the back rent on my mothers families land and hovel in the highlands of Scotland? One hundred and thirty years ago my family were moved off their ancient lands and replaced by sheep by a less than well meaning Duke of Sutherland.

    On my fathers side his family were under pressure from the system from the 1530’s to the mid 19th century as they were Catholics surely they should get a few quid as well for four hundred years of persecution and torment?

  11. Russell

    August 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Re #19
    My original point was “I have always believed that the original inhabitants and descendants of this land should be paid rent for the land which was stolen from them.”

    That opinion remains the same.

  12. Russell

    August 23, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Re #17
    Back to the Mockery, Dave.

  13. Dave Groves

    August 23, 2011 at 9:35 am

    #18. This banter is truly pointless Russell and way off target, but for some reason you seem to enjoy pushing buttons to extract some sort of reaction and much to my disappointment I’m going to give you one more.

    I don’t give a rats about my heritage although I love autumn and spring for the exotic trees that cycle the seasons, so there must be something genetic going on there.

    I was born here and here is home.

    If someone wants to claim some heritage and the sins of the past, then that is their choice.

    There has been some terrible things done in the past and that is where they are best left.

    I can’t say that the last two hundred years on these islands have been great for the land or the people, but there has been some good work done on many levels for the community.

    Regardless, it is what it is and that is what we live with…like it or not.

    I’m sure there are many aboriginies who have deviated from tradition and embraced the way of the white man and that is their choice.

    I’m sure there are many others who still live by centuries old customs and that is also their choice.

    My original point was about community.

    While some aboriginies encourage division of comunity all that will foster is angst from the broader population.

    Similarly you can see division supported by our governments and glaringly with the gunns saga of which you are so familiar.

    Coming from Sydney, where my kids had 86 different nationalities to deal with, I witnessed old hatreds fostered, the deep rifts that caused and the splintering of community.

    To me, the aboriginal story is no different.

  14. Russell

    August 22, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Re #13
    I believe if you can claim your English heritage even though you look like an Arab, then likewise the Tasmanian aborigines should be able to claim theirs even though there may be a few blue eyes.

  15. Dave

    August 22, 2011 at 11:59 am


    I only wish my attempts at fly fishing were as successful, one cast and the fly was taken. Thank you Russell.

  16. Russell

    August 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Re #14
    24 hours? Some of us have other things to do.

    Positive things for this state? No more Gunns native forest woodchips.

  17. Dave

    August 21, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    #12.14 I thought not 24hrs and nothing positive. You could always tell us, yet again, how everything is the fault of forestry – come on I’m giving you the chance to go negative which is somewhere from the vast majority of your postings that you, sadly, feel more comfortable.

  18. Dave

    August 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    #12 What a pointless distraction unless of course you happen to be claiming to come from an indigenous background then the preamble would be relevant. if of course your are of European ancestor then nothing you said is of relevance to my original responses.

    As for doing what you can I have followed your career here on TT if doing what you can is …

    So my last question to you is what have you done that is positive to help our state and all the people who share it with you since arrival. When you asked me a question I gave a positive answer now its your chance to respond positively.

  19. Dave Groves

    August 20, 2011 at 8:36 am

    #12….Been on the big rock for a few generations now, but if you go back through time it seems I come from a long line of pommies Russell.

    Evil murdering English bastards most likely, although we are not of royal descent so at least I escaped inbreeding, although some may argue…

    I’ve been told I look like an arab, which is probably the reason security gives me weird looks at the airport, but they breathe a sigh of relief when I ask them where I can purchase “chips and a cup of tea”….hope this helps….

  20. Russell

    August 19, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Re #10
    In fact, peoples from many countries including France, Indonesia and even China visited our shores long before the English. The difference was that none of them made war with the aborigines, they all trading peacefully with them and some aborigines even travelled back and forth with them. They certainly didn’t attempt the genocide of a race as the English did both in Tasmania and on the mainland.

    All along the northern Australian coast you will see stands of tamarind trees planted by the Macassins during their trading years. The aboriginal word “balanda” used to describe white people comes from the word Hollander because there is no letter “h” in the local language.

    Tasmania made the most serious attempt on genocide and herded the last few up to dump on the Bass Strait islands for the Dutch sealers to have their way with, hence a few blue eyes in the Tasmanian aboriginal population.

    What ancestories do you have Dave?

    Re #11

    In the meantime I do what I can when I can …

  21. David

    August 18, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    #9 To answer your question I designed and ran a course for aboriginal health workers.

    Since retiring I have continued to volunteer my time, skills and knowledge in various areas of psychiatric and primary health care which over the years has amounted a lot longer than one selfless year in the NT I only mention this because you asked.

    Next year I hope to travel to Cambodia to work with children who are HIV positive but that’s next year.

    May I now ask, in the same spirit you asked me a question, what will you be doing?

  22. Dave Groves

    August 18, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I admire your passion Russell.

    Perhaps if it wasn’t Captain Cook, we may all be speaking Portuguese, Spanish or French?

    I wonder if they would have treated the Australian aborigines any better?

    They were all pretty ruthless in those days weren’t they?

    It seems some new arrivals to Australia have it pretty good, while others “live in camps” as you say.
    As you dragged the beleaguered Gunns in to highlight inequity, we can all see the inequity in our society, but little happens to affirm change.

    To clarify my missed point is that the Australian aborigine as a race (and primarily a mixed race now days) does no favours by identifying themselves as a separate community and constantly making claims against the “white man”.

    If there is legal mismatch, then surely there are enough aborigines with enough resources to make that inequity vanish?

  23. Russell

    August 17, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Re #6 and 8
    Actually, I have donated a year of my life and resources to an aboriginal community in the NT.

    What have you done selflessly for anyone else, aboriginal or not?

  24. David

    August 17, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    #1 If u feel so strongly Russell about paying rent to the descendents of the original inhabitants you could always go it alone and make a selfless gesture. I feel sure that the Tasmanian Aboriginal Center would be extremely happy to accept a monthly cheque from you. I look forward to hearing that you are living by your principles.

  25. John Wade

    August 17, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Maybe we should divide the state into numerous tribes and all demand our pound-of-flesh?

    Oh, sorry, it is all ready being done.

  26. Sam Betts

    August 17, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Go right ahead Russell, you can be the first to donate $100 every week to the TAC c/ Elizabeth Street. Hobart
    Let me know how you go.

  27. Peter

    August 17, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Not much online sympathy for the latest grab for cash from the local tribes, I’m afraid.

    “The Gimme-Gimme tribe” was how one comment described them on The Mercury site.

  28. Russell

    August 17, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    All this despite “white man’s” REAL attempts to wipe out the Australian aborigine, not just the hypothetical Japanese invasion which never happened.

  29. Russell

    August 17, 2011 at 1:45 pm


    How ARE the Australian aborigines doing now? They are still kept in camps.

    Why are the Australian aborigines excluded from anti-discrimination legislation while the “white man” is free to abuse his family and blow his welfare cheque on grog and drugs?

    Why shouldn’t Australian aborigines be compensated for the loss of their land and legal heritage? Gunns is asking for compensation for trees they have refused to buy!

    Not a cent has been made in Australia’s economy “since the days of Captain Cook” without the “white man’s” use or possession of this stolen land.

    The Australian aborigine has always and continues to “adapt,” that’s why they are of the longest surviving race on the planet. They may just be able to “adapt” a little better if they were given some assistance in self-determination instead of constantly being brow beaten and ripped off.

    Racism lives freely and openly in Tasmania.

  30. Dave Groves

    August 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    I thought we were one community, not the aboriginals and everyone else?

    If the Japanese were successful with their quest in 1942 what would the aboriginals be doing now?
    Bless the white man says I.

    The world has changed since the days of Captain Cook and it does so at a staggering rate to which we must all adapt-aboriginies included.

  31. Russell

    August 17, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    I have always believed that the original inhabitants and descendants of this land should be paid rent for the land which was stolen from them.

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