Earlier this week, Derryn Hinch went head to head with Indigenous leader, Murrandoo Yanner to debate traditional hunting rights and came off second best.
At the beginning of the interview with Black Star Radio, Hinch accepted that he had no first-hand knowledge of the situation around the protection of endangered Turtle and Dugong populations across northern Australia.
Hinch began laying out his argument by saying that Indigenous people shouldn’t be hunting with the use of outboard motors and talked about creating laws that we’re already in place. Murrandoo quickly pointed out that the laws already existed and that acquiring technology is something that all cultures are allowed to do.
Murrandoo was only just getting started and what followed was a tremendous first hand assessment of the real threats that exist toward turtle and dugong species across northern Australia. This wasn’t an attack either, it was a respectful discussion that Hinch seemed grateful to be part of.
Murrandoo made it clear that major polluters such as the agriculture and mining sectors played a huge part when it comes to loss of habitats (such as seagrass beds). Murrandoo also reminded Hinch that the only people out on the water actively doing something to protect these environments were Indigenous rangers. Hinch accused Indigenous rangers of turning a blind eye to Indigenous hunters who were hunting on non-traditional land. This was quickly shut down by Murrandoo who said rangers were powerless already and asked for genuine enforcement/punishments to be handed out to solve this problem.
Finally, Hinch asked Murrandoo, “What would you say to people who claim that Turtles and Dugongs will be extinct in 40 years”? Murrandoo responded by pointing out that Indigenous people only account for 10% of numbers taken each year. Meanwhile, the much larger problems come from non-Indigenous problems such as tree clearing, dredging, pollution, mining and introduced species of plants and animals such as horses and pigs. Once again Murrandoo asked, where are the efforts to stop these problems? Why is the blame solely on us? Finally Murrandoo informed him that the only people trying to solve the non-Indigenous problems were actually Indigenous people.
Check out this amazing documentary about rangers on the Cape who are working together to save turtles along the western shoreline.
Posted by ABC Far North on Wednesday, 6 September 2017
In credit to Derryn Hinch, we would like to commend him for actually listening to Indigenous people. He was respectful after the interview and we believe his claim that he wants to have further discussions with Murrandoo to be genuine.
Listen to the full interview below from Black Star Radio – Cairns.
Welcome to Country is an independent Indigenous news/media website that provides an Independent voice from Indigenous communities. To have your story heard, contact our Facebook page or our contact page.