Mudu­rup ‘dis­re­spected’

POST Newspapers - - Letters - By DAVID CO­HEN

Vis­i­tors to an ocean pool by Cottes­loe’s groyne could drop dead, an Abo­rig­i­nal el­der told coun­cil­lors on Tues­day night.

Margaret Gidgup was dressed in a ban­ner painted with black crows when she warned coun­cil­lors about build­ing a pool at Mudu­rup Rocks, which she said was a spe­cial indige­nous site.

“Tourists will start to des­e­crate the rocks,” Ms Gidgup said.

“Many peo­ple will start to feel ill – some may drop dead.”

Ms Gidgup, her fa­ther Ron, and Iva Hay­ward-Jack­son brought an Abo­rig­i­nal flag into the mayor’s par­lour as they shared their wor­ries about what could hap­pen to the Rocks and the lack of con­sul­ta­tion they be­lieved the coun­cil had about the pool.

“We are the cus­to­di­ans of Mudu­rup Rocks,” Ms Gidgup said.

“Cottes­loe coun­cil has disre- spected our con­nec­tion to the Rocks.

“You value noth­ing that, on a whim, you like to de­stroy.”

Be­fore Ms Gidgup’s state­ment Mr Hay­ward-Jack­son gave a wel­come to coun­try.

“I apol­o­gise: I don’t know how you white fel­las do it,” he said.

Af­ter telling the meet­ing they were on Bib­bul­mun land, Mr Hay­ward-Jack­son said: “Wel­come to our coun­try.”

Act­ing mayor Mark Rodda said: “Thank you.”

Mr Hay­ward-Jack­son said he had lived in the west­ern sub­urbs his whole life af­ter be­ing born in a tent at the back of Su­bi­aco hos­pi­tal in 1964.

He said the cave near the Cottes­loe groyne was of para­mount im­por­tance to Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple.

“Don’t make the same mis­take Mos­man Park made, by putting rocks in their cave,” he said.

“They broke the law.”

“This land can’t take much more of this.

“We’ve all got to live to­gether – come on, peo­ple!”

He said non-Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple treated money like a god.

Mr Gidgup said the group had vis­ited Mudu­rup Rocks a few hours be­fore the meet­ing.

“It was strange,” he said. “Two crows came in from the sea.”

“The Rocks are where Johnny Kud­jil used to camp in the 1800s.

“He was jailed on Rot­tnest but flew back [to the Rocks] as a crow.

“He’s here to­day, liv­ing with our fam­ily.”

Mr Gidgup ap­pealed to coun­cil­lors to pro­tect the cave.

“You could do any­thing around it, but we must have that cave there,” he said.

Ms Gidgup said a cul­tural Abo­rig­i­nal ex­pe­ri­ence would be bet­ter for the site than a pool.

“Tourists from over­seas: that’s what they want to see and hear,” she said.

“You’ll make money.” Coun­cil­lor Lor­raine Young asked the el­ders if they knew a Town con­sul­tant had been ap­pointed sev­eral months ago to find out from indige­nous peo­ple what they thought about the pool.

Ms Gidgup said: “We weren’t aware ,... your con­sul­tant didn’t con­sult.”

With the el­ders were Cottes­loe res­i­dents and an­thro­pol­o­gists Barb Dob­son and Ken McIn­tyre.

Mr McIn­tyre said there was “oo­dles of in­for­ma­tion” al­ready avail­able to the town on the sig­nif­i­cance of the pool site to indige­nous peo­ple.

“We’ve sent pa­pers to the coun­cil; it’s on web­sites,” he said.

Ms Gidgup asked: “Who do we write to?”

Town CEO Mat Hum­frey said: “That would be me.”

Last week the pro­posed pool was left high and dry at a coun­cil meet­ing.

The rec­om­men­da­tion in front of coun­cil­lors was to ap­prove spend­ing $76,000 on stage two of a fea­si­bil­ity study for the south-of-the-groyne pool.

But af­ter nar­rowly vot­ing against a bid to not go ahead with any study, coun­cil­lors and staff for­got to go back to the rec­om­men­da­tion.

Photo: David Co­hen

Mudu­rup mes­sage … Iva Hay­ward-Jack­son, left, Ron Gidgup, Margaret Gidgup, and Ken McIn­tyre be­foreTues­day night’s Cottes­loe coun­cil meet­ing.

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