LAND RIGHTS: Campaigners leave Gympie Magistrates Court after the release of Wit-boooka, Gary Tomlinson, (left) outside the Gympie court house precinct.
LAND RIGHTS: Campaigners leave Gympie Magistrates Court after the release of Wit-boooka, Gary Tomlinson, (left) outside the Gympie court house precinct. Arthur Gorrie

Mayor's bloody shirt in court

A FORGOTTEN promise, a Gympie region mayor's "blood soaked shirt" and the legality of white settlement from Brisbane to Bundaberg were central issues in Gympie District Court yesterday.

The forgotten promise was the Bunya Declaration in which the Crown had noted an Aboriginal presence in the area.

The declaration, published in the Queensland Government Gazette of April 19, 1842, banned white settlement north of Moreton Bay "in any lands in which the Bunya tree is found," because of recognised Aboriginal occupation.

And whose blood was it on the shirt of Gympie mayor Mick Curran, who claimed to have been attacked by an Aboriginal delegation which presented them with an "eviction notice"? The accused, charged under their registered names (Gary Tomlinson, Diane Redden-King and Mervyn Tomlinson), presented lengthy arguments that they had not been charged correctly because their tribal names were not used.

They are said to have attacked Cr Curran but yesterday claimed the blood on the mayor's shirt was Tomlinson's and that Tomlinson was the victim rather than a perpetrator. The case continues.

Gympie Times

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