Bennelong Papers

Saint Mabo, not

The Mabo Case was bad history, bad law – so now they’ve made a movie.

Making a saint out of Mabo

By Andrew Bolt

I support the concept of land rights in principle, although there are arguments to be had about the precise nature of such rights and of traditional forms of land ownership in mainland Australia. But the rewriting of Eddie Mabo as a saint in a saintly cause is a gross rewriting of history, if the 1990 findings of facts in the Mabo case by Justice Moynihan are our guide:

Eddie Mabo is, in my view, quite capable of tailoring his story to whatever shape he perceived would advance his cause in the particular forum. A particular illustration of this is found in the saga of his claim to be the Ai et and traditional leader of the Murray Islanders.

For the various reasons which I have been canvassed – and for others which will I trust, to a degree at least, emerge elsewhere in the course of these reasons I was not impressed with the creditability of Eddie Mabo. I would not be inclined to act on his evidence in a matter bearing on his self interest (and most of his evidence was of this character one way or another) unless it was supported by other creditable evidence..

Moynihan did not accept that Edde Mabo was, as he’d claimed, adopted by his uncle and aunt, and thus their heir or the rightful claimant to any of the land subject to his claim.

Read on at Andrew Bolt’s blog


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