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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Wednesday, 4 April 2007
Tony Koch of the The Australian sells out his acclaimed journalistic integrity with racist baiting of TWS?
Mood:  sharp
Topic: big media

Tony Koch is no “Journalist of the Year” if his latest feature is any guide.


But first some credit where it’s due: On p2 24th March 2007 of The Australian, which is known for its 4 page paid propaganda Special Advertising Reports for the resources industry, their paper lauds Koch like this


“Our man wins Journalist of the Year award”


“…Koch, a three-times Walkley award winner and legendary figure in Queensland journalism, won the $20,000 award sponsored by The Age newspaper for his exceptional coverage of the death of Mulrunji Doomadgee on Palm Island.”


That’s a big rap for Koch. But then consider this latest feature yesterday 3rd April 2007:


Rough passage | Features | The Australian


It’s about “Queensland's white environmental establishment has sidelined traditional owners in the quest to protect the wild rivers of Cape York, writes Tony Koch”


Trouble is it looks like a big fat resource industry lie by their mouthpiece The Australian using their most credible star reporter in a hard fought federal election year where Queensland is a big battle ground state.


Examples of the resource industry financial pumping of the viability of The Australian’s big fat pay packages can be found here:


Engineering & Resources/A Special Advertising Report 24-25 March 2007 – all 8 pages of it.


And then this is this one: Paydirt uranium conference A Special Advertising Report pages 38-39 March 19th 2007.


Get the picture: The Wilderness Society (TWS) in the story being baited as racist, is the arch enemy of the big dam, big land clearing, big uranium mining sector that pay for The Australian to keep the presses and the gravy train rolling. It’s all so blatant crude and pathetic. And essentially why democracy is broken in this country when it comes to ethical land use decisions for the little guys, not the corporation bonuses.

So what is the evidence? Well when you read the story at the link above you are impressed by the three courageous Aboriginal protesters against the might of the Qld Govt and white greenie establishment. Small but brave they win support from other local Aboriginal dignatories.


Trouble is the feature airbrushes these easily obtained statements on the web from leading Aboriginal voices who you might consider to be even more representative:


The Carpentaria Land Council and The Wilderness Society call for protection of Gulf of Carpentaria Wild Rivers in Queensland

The Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation
The Wilderness Society Queensland Inc

Media Release
23 June 2006


The Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (CLCAC) and The Wilderness Society today called on the Queensland Government to honour its 2004 election commitment to protect the rivers of the Gulf region under its Wild Rivers initiative.


The CLCAC and The Wilderness Society have been lobbying the Government this week in the lead up to an important cabinet discussion next Monday, 26 June 2006, which will determine the future direction of the Wild Rivers initiative.


In recent weeks, mining interests and the National Party have called for the scrapping of proposals to protect several Gulf region rivers including the Gregory River and Settlement Creek.


CLCAC have consulted closely with all of the traditional owner groups - the majority of people affected by the proposed declarations. They have expressed their overwhelming support for the protection of their rivers.


Murrandoo Yanner, a Gangalidda traditional owner said, “Healthy rivers are the lifeblood of our people – everything depends on that. Water for drinking, fish for eating – we have to protect this for our children’s children. We’ve talked with the Government and we thought we were on the same page – we want the Settlement and Gregory Rivers declared – the Government shouldn’t cave in to the scare-mongering of those mining and agriculture mobs”.


The Wilderness Society has also called for immediate declaration of the four Gulf rivers. Larissa Cordner, wild rivers spokesperson, said, “The only thing that is required now is a Cabinet decision that accurately reflects the Government's election commitment – we expect these rivers to be protected”.


Anthony Esposito, The Wilderness Society Indigenous program manager, said, “The support of the traditional owners is essential to the success of the Wild Rivers initiative on the ground, and the Government has it. The Beattie Government should honour its election promise to protect the Gulf rivers and not bow to the outrageous demands of the Queensland Resources Council and the National Party”.

For more information, please contact:

Larissa Cordner
Wild Rivers Campaigner
Email Larissa Cordner
Workphone: 07 3846 1420
Fax: 07 3846 1620

[bold added]


What happened to Tony Koch’s reportage of other Black voices apart from the pro big industry ones?


As they say in South America, not every Indian is a good Indian, not every tree is a good tree. There are developer Blacks and conservationist Blacks just like white society, and you know what Tony Koch? It’s racist to suggest otherwise.


The clue to the deceit is in the reference to Noel Pearson of the Cape York Land Council calling for postponement of the protection decisions, and then the map with the story: The 4 wild rivers protected are not really part of Cape York. How unsurprising.


Declaration: This writer was employed as an advocate for The Wilderness Society in 1993-4 including their pioneering Land Rights Policy which strongly recognised the traditional owners of heritage land.


This included meeting with traditional owners here in NSW as well as land council representatives including the NSW Aboriginal Land Council in Parramatta, and at conferences convened by the Environmental Defenders Office.


Our law honours thesis in 1989 was entitled A Legal Foundation for Aboriginal Land Rights, and predicted the native title decision in 1992 of the High Court Mabo Case from precedents in South Africa, India, PNG, and Canada, as well as the writings of Henry Reynolds.

Posted by editor at 1:38 PM NZT
Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007 2:05 PM NZT

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