'Arrest us too': Jo breaks ranks in Aboriginal site fight
JO-ANN Miller has broken ranks with her party and called on State Government to investigate the purchase of a sacred parcel of Indigenous land at Deebing Creek.
The Member for Bundamba has thrown her weight behind protesters' fight to stop homes being built near the old mission, creek and Aboriginal cemetery.
Ms Miller questioned the legalities about how the site was turned into freehold land and said it should go back into Indigenous hands.
"There has to be recognition Deebing Creek is a special site to Aboriginal people," she said.
"No one would want buildings to go on top of burials.
"The state as well as Ipswich City Council can use the acquisition of land act to acquire the land back from the developers.
"It should be investigated."
Ms Miller said "building on burials" was not something anybody wanted to see.
"It's just not the right thing to do," she said.
"It's a matter of decency."
Developers Frasers Property must adhere to strict process if remains are found while developing the site.
There is no plan to build homes on the site of the mission or the nearby cemetery.
Ms Miller is the first within the Labor Party to call for the site to be bought back, but the latest in a growing list of people calling for land protection.
At the weekend's protest against the proposed waste-to-energy plant, Ms Miller's chief of staff Steve Axe acknowledged the community's Indigenous elders past, present and emerging.
"I can't go past saying that without also passing on Jo-Ann's deep solidarity with the people at Deebing Creek this week," Mr Axe added.
Reading a statement from Ms Miller, Mr Axe referenced Wednesday's riot-like scenes and said the MP would stand with Aboriginal protesters.
"If the developers and the police are going to carry on like that again they can arrest us to," he said.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has been unequivocal in her refusal to purchase the site.
Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard sympathised with the Aboriginal elders but said the matter was between the state and developers.
"Joh Bjelke-Petersen sold it all off in the 1980s," she said.
"I'm supportive of the elders in this area and I know they're deeply distressed about the situation."
Ms Howard, who has met with traditional owners, said the state's offer to pay for mediation between them and developers had not been taken.
On Tuesday federal Greens leader Richard Di Natale was embraced by Aboriginal campers as he toured the site with Queensland Senator Larissa Waters.
Senator Waters said the area had "huge local significance" and should not be used for a housing estate.
"We need to stand with our first Australians and protect this area of significance to all of us," she said.
Senator Waters reiterated calls for the state to purchase the land off Frasers Property.
"The almighty dollar should not trump Indigenous rights," she said.
"Just buy this land back, give it to the first Australians.
"They have had this continuing connection here."