Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tuesday Toast - Jeffrey just wants to go fishing

Jeffrey Lee, senior custodian of the Koongarra uranium deposit,
passes by the Bluetongue dreaming site on his land. "I'm not
interested in money. I've got a job. I can buy tucker. I can go
fishing and hunting. That's all that matters to me," he says.

This entire post photo, article et al is courtesy of The Daily Good.  Not everyone wants to [or was meant to] be a billionaire.  I hope that this article inspires you to know that people are people and we all have varying levels of happiness and contentment.  Our differences make us beautiful and special.  The following article was first written by Lindsay Murdock on July 14, 2007.

Who wants to be a billionaire? I don't

JEFFREY Lee is not interested in the soaring price of uranium, which could make him one of the world's richest men.
"This is my country, look, it's beautiful and I fear somebody will disturb it," he said, waving his arm across rocky land surrounded by the Kakadu National Park, where the French mining giant Areva wants to extract 14,000 tonnes of uranium worth more than $5 billion.

Mr Lee, the shy, 36-year-old sole member of the Djok clan and senior custodian of the Koongarra uranium deposit, has decided never to allow the ecologically sensitive land to be mined.
"There are sacred sites, there are burial sites and there are other special places out there which are my responsibility to look after," Mr Lee told The Age.
"I'm not interested in money. I've got a job. I can buy tucker. I can go fishing and hunting. That's all that matters to me."
Twin Falls. Kakadu National Park, Australia.
Mr Lee said he thought long and hard about speaking publicly about why he wanted to see the land incorporated into the World Heritage-listed Kakadu where, he said, "it will be protected and safe forever".
The Koongarra deposit is only three kilometres from Nourlangie Rock, one of the most visited attractions in Kakadu.
"Now I want to talk about what I have decided to do because I fear for my country," he said. "I was taken all through here on the shoulder of my grandmother … I heard all the stories and learnt everything about this land and I want to pass it all on to my kids."
Mr Lee this week took The Age to a rocky outcrop overlooking the Koongarra deposit, a sacred place where, according to his clans' beliefs, a giant blue tongue lizard still lurks and should not be disturbed.
Here it is, painted on a rock hundreds, or even thousands, of years ago, its jaw apparently bitten off in a mystical fight.
This is what Mr Lee calls a "djang", or place of spiritual essence, which he has closed to the 230,000 tourists who visit Kakadu each year.

"My father and grandfather said they would agree to opening the land to mining but I have learnt as I have grown up that there's poison in the ground," he said.
"My father and grandfather were offered cars, houses … but nobody told them about uranium and what it can do.
"If you disturb that land, bad things will happen … there will be a big flood, there will be an earthquake and people will have a big accident."

Mr Lee said there were places on his land where the Rainbow Serpent — a mythological creature believed to be in control of water — had entered that were so sacred "I can't even go to them or even talk about them".

Areva, the world's biggest nuclear power company, wants to extract the uranium on its 12.5-square-kilometre mineral lease at Koongarra because the price of the ore has soared.
But Mr Lee's declaration will pressure the Howard Government to formally incorporate the land into Kakadu.
Under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (Northern Territory), Areva must get Mr Lee's approval at a meeting called by the Northern Land Council before it can start extracting the uranium.
In August 2005, the Government seized control of uranium mining from the Northern Territory, declaring the territory open for new mines.
Ranger, a mine with a history of leaks and owned by Energy Resources of Australia Limited, has been extracting uranium inside Kakadu since 1981.
But the Howard Government has always maintained that no new mine would be approved in the territory unless it had the approval of traditional owners.

The Government has told UNESCO, the world body under which Kakadu is listed as a heritage site, that it would agree in principle for Koongarra to be incorporated into the park if the traditional owners requested it.
Mr Lee, who works as a Kakadu ranger, said incorporating Koongarra into the park would allow him to see that the land remains protected.

"Being part of the park will ensure that the traditional laws, customs, sites, bush tucker, trees, plants and water stay the same as when they were passed on to me by my father and great grandfather," he said.
Mr Lee, who became known as Kakadu's mystery man because he has avoided publicity, has another concern. As the sole member of the Djok clan he has no children to pass the land on to. "I'll have to see what I can do about that," he said.
ISP2061081 - A cocktail

Cheers to you Jeffrey Lee for being an honored steward for your land!  It is breath taking. I also know several single women who could appreciate a good man, would love to relocate abroad and want children :-)  Hit me up, I'll put you in touch!


  1. What a blessing he is for championing that cause. That's extraordinarily beautiful land there and should be preserved as such!

  2. This is inspiring! There's a man with a wonderful, unwaivering set of priorities! Great post, Dale!

  3. That's amazing to find one honest man who realizes that money is not going to make him happy. As I get older, I start to realize that the scripture - "The love of money is the root of all evil" is so true. I think Corporate greed is going to do this planet in one of these days and this is a perfect example of it in action. If it weren't for this good man standing in the gap, this wonderful place would have been demolished. That's so sad, but it's nice to see a happy ending for once.



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