News

Page apologises for massacre

SPECIAL PLACE: Uncle Lewis Cook and Ballina MP Don Page mark the dedication of parts of East Ballina where a massacre occurred as an Aboriginal Special Place.
SPECIAL PLACE: Uncle Lewis Cook and Ballina MP Don Page mark the dedication of parts of East Ballina where a massacre occurred as an Aboriginal Special Place. DOUG EATON

STATE Member for Ballina and Minister for the North Coast, Don Page, has apologised to Aboriginal people for a massacre that occurred at East Ballina in 1853/54 which saw about 40 local Aboriginal people shot by Queensland police officers.

Last week, Mr Page attended an event in Ballina to mark the official gazettal by the NSW Government of the East Ballina Aboriginal Place, which is made up of 162 hectares of bushland parcels from Shaws Bay north to Angels Beach.

Bundjalung Elder Uncle Lewis Cook gave the "welcome to country" at that event.

He said his grandfather was a survivor of the massacre, escaping north to Queensland.

He said the "troopers showed no mercy".

"Women then threw themselves off Black Head (at the northern end of Shelly Beach) with children so they did not get caught by the troopers," he said.

The declaration of the East Ballina Aboriginal Place has been 15 years in the making.

Mr Page said the massacre "was a tragic event in our history".

A police patrol from Queensland snuck up on 200-300 Aboriginal people in the middle of the night and started shooting.

"The local white settlers were shocked and sickened by the event," Mr Page said.

"Amazingly, the local Aboriginal people did not retaliate against the local white population as they understood that they were not involved in the massacre.

"On behalf of the people I represent I offer our heartfelt apology for that terrible massacre."

Under law it is an offence to harm or desecrate an Aboriginal Place, and under the National Parks and Wildlife Act there are special provisions to protect and safeguard the land.


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

A practical stand against violence against women

TAKING A STAND: Taekwondo black belt and owner of Strike Martial Arts, Shane McKeahnie, is holding free self-defence classes for women later this month.

Black belt offering course in martial arts

Pacific Highway lanes reopen after 4WD, trailer crash

Crash involving a 4WD and a trailer causing disruption to traffic

Vanessa is ready for a new challenge

Ballina local, Vanessa Farrell, 25, was welcomed into the Australian Army today through an Appointment Ceremony at Brisbane Defence Force Recruiting Centre. She will now travel to the Royal Military College-Duntroon in Canberra to commence her training as a General Service Officer.

Vanessa Farrell was one of 79 recruits appointed to Duntroon

Latest deals and offers

Guide to the ‘perfect day’ on the Northern Rivers

GOT visitors in town and not sure where to take them for the “Northern Rivers experience”?

A practical stand against violence against women

TAKING A STAND: Taekwondo black belt and owner of Strike Martial Arts, Shane McKeahnie, is holding free self-defence classes for women later this month.

Black belt offering course in martial arts

Pacific Highway lanes reopen after 4WD, trailer crash

Crash involving a 4WD and a trailer causing disruption to traffic

Vanessa is ready for a new challenge

Ballina local, Vanessa Farrell, 25, was welcomed into the Australian Army today through an Appointment Ceremony at Brisbane Defence Force Recruiting Centre. She will now travel to the Royal Military College-Duntroon in Canberra to commence her training as a General Service Officer.

Vanessa Farrell was one of 79 recruits appointed to Duntroon

Poisoner robs preschoolers of friend

Wollongbar Community preschoolers look mournfully at the figtree in the preschool grounds which was poisoned during the school holidays.

Wollongbar kids return to school to find beloved figtree poisoned.

How an interview became a contact with my loved one

Spirit medium Charmaine Wilson brings messages of love and healing to those suffering the loss of a loved one on her Mystical Messages Tour.

During a chat to medium Charmaine Wilson

Pokémon Go makes Ingress into Clarence Valley

Pokemon Go player Dan Optland is pictured in the game w ith a "Pidgey" Pokemon he lured to a Pokestop at the Clarence Valley Conservatorium.

Pokemon Go Pokestops evolved from hard work of unsuspecting friends.

Tom Hiddleston not worried about relationship attention

Attention doesn't bother 'authentic' Hiddleston

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field to expand family?

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field want more children.

Licking incident bars Ariana from performing at White House

Ariana Grande has been blocked from performing at the White House

Taylor Swift's ex throws support behind Kanye West

Calvin Harris shares a sing-along with Kanye West

Michael Jackson's jailed doctor wants his license back

Conrad Murray wants his medical licence back.

Pokemon Go: "Trading" on the horizon as game evolves

No Caption

Pokemon GO players will soon be able to trade with other trainers

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started