Aboriginal Labour.

1908, Saturday 28 March. Clarence and Richmond Examiner (Grafton, NSW : 1889-1915), p.6

Opinion ls changing in Queensland regarding the value of the aboriginal as a labourer. In some of the States the aboriginal is nearly extinct : in Queensland there are still thousands, some of them untouched by civilisation. There has for many years been a very stringent supervision of the aboriginals in settlements, even in the more thickly populated districts : but it was only during the past two or three yours that an attempt was made to turn the labour to account.

A commencement was made by hiring out gangs from the Barambah settlement in the south for scrub cutting. etc., and it was found that the men did tho work remarkably well. A proportion of the earnings was deducted for the keep of tho families in the settlement. The system was extended to tho young girls who were drawn upon to solve the domestic servant question and at present in Brisbane there are about 200 full-blood and half-castes in service, who are doing so well that the demand is twice greater than the supply. Numbers of aboriginals have also been employed in the sugar industry: but tho present Government has not encouraged this sphere of activity, on the ground that it would give a wrong impression when the State was endeavouring to get agricultural labourers from Europe for the sugar Industry.

At the same time, sugar farmers are pressing the Government for permits to employ aboriginals and is is said that quite 700 could be absorbed easily. The Chief Protector holds very strong views about the suitability of the fine northern tribes for sugar work. A scheme has also been proposed by a syndicate which desires to develop Fraser Island on the Queensland coast, and to employ aboriginal labour in fishing for tho canning works. If aboriginal labour were taken in tho sugar districts a big northern station would be established as a recruiting station and there also all labour for the pearling boats would have to be signed on and off.

SUGAR BOUNTY: Claim by Native - A Good Case

1907, November 29. The Register (Adelaide, SA : 1901-1929), p. 8.

Under the Sugar Bounty Act aboriginal natives of Australia are entitled to receive a bounty for sugar grown without the employment of alien labour. The Customs Department recently received, an application for the bounty from Jack Cook and Lyall Robert, two aborigines. Enquiries made with the view to ascertain their right to the bounty, elicited some curious facts. It was discovered that there plantation is on an island in the Clarence River, New South Wales. The sugar is grown by a communistic settlement of aborigines and half-castes. The claim the bounty is considered to be good. Last year the little settlement produced- 170 tons of cane.