Representatives of Cape York have pledged to protect their ancestral lands from mining and potentially being turned into a food bowl, in a visit to Canberra.
20 Mar 2013 - 5:09 PM  UPDATED 29 Aug 2013 - 11:36 AM

Representatives from Cape York have pledged to protect their ancestral lands from mining and potentially being turned into a food bowl, in a visit to Canberra asking the federal government to nominate the region for World Heritage listing.

Elders also expressed their concerns that a failure to quarantine the Cape could possibly lead to black magic reprisals.

The natural beauty and wild rivers of Queensland's Cape York Region are what traditional owners want to protect.

They want Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke and the Opposition to push for a World Heritage listing and to invest in a green solution with benefits.

The Wilderness Society is concerned the Queensland Government will over-develop the Cape with major projects like dams, irrigation and land clearing.

Mining also remains a clear threat for those in favour of protection.

Former Chair of the Cape York Land Council Michael Ross says he and many others are very concerned that sacred sites including the Quinkan rock art galleries will be destroyed.

He's calling for all parties to unite and forge a solution that protects and creates employment.

The visiting campaigners want the government and opposition to endorse an application by July this year but traditional owners also want to know how a new government will invest in job creation for the region.