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One Nation candidate hits back after being attacked over ‘White slavery’ native title comments

A One Nation candidate has refused to back down after being attacked for questioning a controversial decision to award native title over a huge swathe of land in Queensland.

Julie Hall, who is running for election in the seat of Whitsunday where she was once mayor, on Tuesday responded to a post by party leader Pauline Hanson about an indigenous group being given land rights over a 365,345 hectare area of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

“I was born in Australia, Australia is my country, where are my rights? I do not support racial division at all. We start down this road and what’s next White slavery,” Ms Hall wrote on her Facebook page.

The comments sparked critical coverage in the corporate press, who with most outlets stressing the non-exclusive rights to the land and dismissing concerns from the Australian public, even though non-exclusive native title holders in South Australia are currently pushing to exclude non-aboriginal Australians from Lake Eyre without permission from the “traditional owners”.

Ms Hall hit back at her critics on Friday, and revealed one major TV network has fabricated a story about her.

“Seriously anyone would think I was Pauline Hanson given the amount of hit shots I am getting on Mainstream media at the moment,” she wrote.

“I think the people of the Whitsunday electorate are more intelligent than that and can see right through the age old smear and whisper campaigns so I will take it as a compliment that I must be doing something right and I must be being seen as a real threat.

“Meanwhile I will keep focusing on what really matters, the community and ensuring they have a strong voice in Parliament and campaigning for my votes with integrity.”

Federal Court Justice Berna Collier on Monday formally recognised the “kabi kabi” people as native title holders to an area including Gympie, Noose, Maroochydore, Caloundra, Bribie Island and Mudjimba Island, allowing them to “access, be present on, move about on and travel over the area”.

Ms Hanson had written in response to the decision: “I have tried to warn Australians about the consequences of our current Native Title system. Last year, I attempted to introduce a ‘sunset date’ to reform the system. However, my efforts were blocked by the Albanese Labor Government and the Liberal/National Party Coalition.

“I believe that all Australians should be equal before the law, regardless of their race. We cannot have a system that allows control, access or use of land on the basis of race or identity.

“As a result of these claims, people in the 356,345-hectare affected area, which includes parts of Noosa, Bribie Island, Gympie, Maroochydore, Caloundra, and Mudjimba Island, no longer have control over who can camp and hunt on the land. They now face complex legal issues and uncertainty regarding the use and development of these areas.

“Think it can’t happen to you? Think again! This latest case proves otherwise! And it’s only going to get worse.”

Lake Eyre, the country’s largest lake, has been co-managed by The Arabana Aboriginal Corporation (AAC) since non-exclusive native title was granted in 2012, in a land use agreement covering almost 70,000skm – 1.5 times the size of Switzerland. It was also given a dual name.

But a new management plan proposed by the South Australian government and the AAC would ban visitors from walking, driving or boating on the lake bed without permission from the so-called traditional owners.

Visitors have also been banned from climbing Ayers Rock in 2019, Mt Warning in NSW was closed by the supposed Aboriginal owners, rock climbing routes in the Grampians in Victoria were closed to the public in 2020, and restrictions have been proposed for three sites in Queensland.

The public can submit their views on the Lake Eyre proposal online until July 19, 2024.

Noticer News contacted Julie Hall for comment.

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