A war of words has erupted in a tiny outback Queensland town where locals claim they have been blindsided by plans to hand over “95 per cent” of their community to an Aboriginal corporation as freehold.

Toobeah (pictured above), a town of around 30 residents in the Darling Downs region on the border with NSW, nearly 400 kilometres southwest of Brisbane, has emerged as the centre of the latest fight over Indigenous land rights following the failed Voice referendum.

Residents claim they were not consulted on discussions between the Goondiwindi Regional Council and the Queensland Labor government to hand over the 220-hectare Toobeah Reserve to the Bigambul Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (BNTAC).

“The Goondiwindi Regional Council and the Queensland government, in conjunction with the Bigambul Aboriginal Corporation, have been doing a plan to give away all of the crown land around our town,” said Michael Offerdahl, 38, who owns the Toobeah Hotel.

“Our town common, rodeo ground, town hall, town dump. We’ve only got like 12 to 14 houses in our town, we don’t have sewerage, potable water, anything. They’ve been doing this plan up, it’s all been secret, no community consultation.”

Toobeah Reserve, which also houses a pipe bringing water to the town, has long been used as a recreational area by residents despite officially being gazetted for use only by livestock.

“They’re not just taking a reserve, it’s 95% of our town — whether it’s gazetted in the appropriate fashion or not doesn’t really matter,” Mr Offerdahl said.

“Historically for 115 years these have been parts of our town. The hotel was built in 1911. No one in the Bigambul tribe lives in Toobeah, they’re based in Brisbane. Historically they were in this area but not specifically in Toobeah.”

Mr Offerdahl, who has lived in Toobeah since he was a child and has advocated for improvements to town infrastructure, said while “I had a bit of an inkling stuff was going on” the rest of the town only found out about the proposal when the January 24 Council minutes were released.

“We’ve been trying to work with the Bigambul people because we wanted to tell the history of the area — theirs and ours — but they just don’t want a bar of it,” he said.

A petition has been raised by the Toobeah community “Help stop 95% of Toobeah QLD being transferred to Aboriginal freehold!”

You can read more and sign the petition below or google: ‘change.org toobeah petition’


Uluru (formerly Ayers Rock) should belong to all Australians

As former Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, recently pointed out in relation to a land grab in Mosman NSW:

“The only point of transferring control to an indigenous group would be to start having the kind of restrictions that we’ve already seen on people wanting to explore Uluru, the kind of restrictions that we’ve seen on people who want to climb Mount Warning, the kind of restrictions that are threatened for things like the Grampians in Victoria.

“This is the last thing we need. We need to go forward as a country, one equal people together. But all of these divisive and disruptive claims are getting in the way of that,” he said.

Under the NSW Parliament’s Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983, local Aboriginal Land Councils can claim Crown Land provided the land fits certain criteria, like not being lawfully used or occupied. 

And unlike Native Title claims, Aboriginal Land Councils do not need to establish cultural association with the land.

If a claim is successful the land is transferred in freehold title – meaning it can be used, sold or developed like any other privately owned piece of land. 

Another further example of this crazy virtue-signalling is the case of the Waverton Bowling Club site in NSW.

Millions in compensation will be paid to the Indigenous owners of this disused land due to the Western Harbour Tunnel being built underneath it.

The owners since 2022, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council (MLALC), had raised accusations of unfairness, because it hadn’t been recognised as the owners of the land right down to the centre of the Earth.   

Unbelievably, Transport for NSW is currently negotiating with the MLALC about compensation for burrowing under its bowling club site, with a likely payout up to $5million being discussed.

Meanwhile, non-aboriginal residents of private properties across the road will get nothing!

The bowling club site that’s been given to the Aboriginal Land Council has been valued in the “tens of millions” of taxpayer dollars.

Madness prevails!

Thanks to News.com.au, Daily Telegraph, Sky News and The Spectator Australia for their contributions to this article.