As we hope to present to you, we have the backers, both in international investors and venture partners. We have the capacity and funds to change our destiny. All we ask is that we get on with it. We need no charity. We need no patronising. We ask that we plan for the future together and get the red tape out of our way…..
A.I.D. and United First Peoples Syndications are sharing the same graphics and presenting the port proposal in the same terms.
Clarence Valley residents who attended the 2 June 2016 A.I.D.'summit' in Casino will probably recall this graphic prepared by David C Jones, Inverell, for Yamba Port and Rail aka Y.P.R Australia Ltd sister company to Australian Infrastructure Developments Pty Ltd (A.I.D.):
If any sort of business relationship exists between A.I.D. and either or both of the two companies which gave evidence, then a reasonable person might expect that this would have been disclosed to the Inquiry - given formal rejection of the Yamba Port & Rail development proposal by the Baird Government.
That some measure of local indigenous concerns would have been known to the United Land Councils and United First Peoples Syndications can be inferred by the following statement in the Clarence Valley Independent on 24 August 2016:
“We’ve got the state land council which is not helping our people in any way. You know we’ve got all the councilors sitting up in there in those big offices earning all this money and what have we got for over the last forty years….”
Additionally, the vast majority of this land is privately-held regionally significant farmland. In other words, not Crown land (including land under claim) which is the focus of the inquiry.
Full details of the extent of the legitimate Native Title proudly and responsibly held by the Yaegl people can be found here.
When United Land Councils Ltd & United First Peoples Syndications Pty Ltd spoke of having backers who were international investors and venture partners, like A.I.D., they weren't telling untruths. One only has to look at what correspondence is publicly available and, the photos and videos turning up on social media of various "super port" proponents with individuals representing foreign capital, multinationals, professional company directors, corporate strategists and legal shills.
It is hard to escape the suspicion that Chinese investors and foreign/domestic infrastructure and development companies have been using both these companies (just as they use Australian Infrastructure Developments) as a way of bypassing the values of Clarence Valley communities and other vulnerable communities across Australia in order to sate their own financial avarice.
One has to wonder what the Committee Chair The Hon. Paul Green (CDP, LC Member), Deputy Chair The Hon. Lou Amato (Lib, LC Member) and members The Hon. Catherine Cusack (Lib, LC Member), The Hon. Scott Farlow (Lib, LC Member), The Hon. Daniel Mookhey (ALP, LC Member), Mr David Shoebridge (The Greens, LC Member) and The Hon. Ernest Wong (ALP, LC Member) would think of being given less than the full picture when it came to the proposed Port of Yamba overdevelopment.
The Inquiry into Crown Land reports to the NSW Parliament on 13 October 2016 and, as there is no way for local communities to correct the record, Legislative Council General Purpose Standing Committee No. 6 will make recommendations regarding Crown lands on the NSW North Coast with an imperfect understanding of the situation in the Clarence Valley.
Further information on a number of these companies can be found here.