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Tuesday 14th January 1997

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Well native title is now becoming a lop-sided arguement with the claimants (the indigenous Australians) getting unencumbered legal aid compared to this development:

Three Victorian councils have set the end of the month as a deadline in their bid to be granted legal aid for their part in the Federal Court's Yorta Yorta native title case.

The City of Greater Shepparton and Campaspe and Moira shires have been denied legal aid in the case twice.

They say they can't afford to continue in the case if they don't get help from the State or Federal Governments.

Campaspe shire's chief commissioner, Doug Crow, says the councils are disappointed they've been refused aid twice when the Yorta Yorta claim is being fully funded by ATSIC.

Mr Crow says the councils will seek talks with State and Federal Governments to try to secure funding, but if they're unsuccessful, will have no choice but to walk away.

Talk about a comedy being played out... in a media sense of the word!

When the media gathered on the quay as the HMAS Adelaide landed at Fremantle with the two shipwrecked sailors on board it was reminiscent of the old schoolboy scrum. Except for the commercial Australian Channel 9 and Channel 7 television programs which had already done some sort of deal with Tony Bullimore.

Bullimore emerged with a Channel 7 cap on his head much to the chagrin of Channel 9 who had promoted that they would be spending hours covering their arrival. He was the fellow everyone wanted to talk to and Theirry Dubois must have wondered, at times, whether he should have actually been there.

It became apparent later that Bullimore's Australian agents (yes, that's right, he now has agents all over the world) had signed an Au$100,000 deal with Channel 7 and with Channel 9's Current Affairs interviewer gaining a spot in a special chair in front of the milling crowd (behind a rope) after they landed one can only guess at the deal done there....

The whole thing was a joke with Channel 9 (or someone) requesting that the Channel 7 cap on Bullimore's head be replaced with another and, until that time, the sailor appearing on Channel 9 as if the top of his head had been chopped off!

Theirry Dubois said, "I don't like the word hero but... if you want to speak about heroes, I think Australians have lots of heroes and I have met some of them."

Bullimore said at the media scrum "My God, I never thought such a great effort would be put into helping one individual like me.

"If it wasn't for the professionalism, the dedication, the inbuilt spirit of Australia, I'm positive - absolutely no doubt at all - that I wouldn't be here now."

Well Tony, old fellow, let's see some of that spirit returned and the Australian tax payers money for the multi-million dollar rescue repaid from the media-interview fortune you are destined to make...

The real heroes of the whole adventure, the sailors aboard the HMAS Adelaide, just sat in the background watching like the rest of the spectators, although the Captain of the ship, Raydon Gates, was interviewed by Channel 9... almost as an afterthought.

Also appearing in the background was Bronwyn Bishop amongst a few other notable dignatories who had come for the show, or maybe some unexpected glory.... which did not eventuate!

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Seven Thirty Report summed the event up rather well when it complained that there was no access to Bullimore who was now under guard through a private detective agent employed by Channel 7 to ensure that their "scoop" was not jeopardised....


A loophole in the gun laws has been uncovered by the National Rifle Association (NRA) who's 6,000 members will be able to keep semi-automatic assault rifles at home despite the tough new anti-gun laws. Members who are either former service personnel or current reservists in the Australian army can own a military style rifle under a unique set of regulations attached to the Commonwealth Defence Act.

The Australian Rifle Club (ARC) Regulations, passed by Federal Parliament in 1903, do not appear to be affected by the agreement of the Australian Police Ministers Council (APMC) that met to form the basis of the new national gun laws.

Queensland Military Rifle Club President, Chris Ray, said, "We come under, and always have done, the ARC regulations."

The gun buy back begins in Queensland on Monday with the end of the amnesty for handover being September 30th.

You say:

Subject: Re Reconcilliation

This will be a long one, so please bear with me.

Reconcilliation? I was born in Australia. Why should I have to be reconcilled with the Aboriginal population. I have never done anything to them, in fact, the opposit is true. In seventeen years in the North West of WA, I was robbed three times and bashed twice. All offenders were Aboriginal. The strongest sentence handed out was that the offender "is ordered to refrain from dinking alcohol for a period of thirty days".Nobody offered the hand of friendship to me.

Land rights? I can tell you some stories there. Stories about the North West gas pipeline where over 100 million was paid to the so-called representatives of Aboriginal people for disturbing "sacred sites". Stories about Peedumulla station that was taken from the white owners and GIVEN to and Aboriginal group. That once profitable station is now a virtual wasteland. Stories about my friend Jim who's job was to decide when a house occupied by Aboriginals was to be bulldozed and how the family were then accomodated in a motel while a new house was built.

I have over thirty years of stories I could tell. I even know where a lot of the ATSIC money went.

I don't hate aboriginals, in fact some of the nicest, hardest working people I have known were Aboriginal. It's just the few WHITE people who claim to be Aboroginals or who whisper in the ear of Aboriginal elders that are causing all the trouble.

As Indigineous people, they have a right to make claim on the land, but, after two hundred years, where does it stop. Already we are not allowed to climb AYERS ROCK without the permission of the local Aboriginals. Will there come a time when we can't board a ferry without paying a compensation tax?



Doesn't take Packer long.... no sooner had he put his hand up and snared the Sydney Casino than he immediately got his well positioned minders working on the New South Wales Government trying to press for a lower tax rate for interstate and offshore "high-roller" gamblers.

At present the Sydney Casino pays the Government 22% on tables and 24.5% on poker machines on up to Au$200 million in gross annual revenue, and a smaller percentage after that. This compares unfavourably with Queensland and Victoria where "high-rollers" are up for only 10%.

Several industry insiders said yesterday that they believed Packer's Publishing and Broadcasting Limited would be better placed than Showboat (the original owners) to gain the tax concessions.

Personal trivia, from the global office:

Absolutely beautiful day outside - although we could do with a bit of rain at present!

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