Brisbane conference: Native Title system is fraudulent

Wayne Wharton

AAP Yahoo News 25 November, 2012

Mining companies are robbing Indigenous communities of a decent share of the mineral wealth because the native title system is flawed, Aboriginal activists say.

Up to 100 Aboriginal protesters are planning to rally outside Brisbane's Stamford Plaza Hotel on Monday and Tuesday, as native title bureaucrats hold talks with mining companies and the government.

Wayne Wharton, from the Kooma tribe in southwest Queensland, says the talks are never fair but just a way for mining companies discuss loopholes in an already weak native title system.

"The system is fraudulent," Mr Wharton told AAP on Sunday.

He said all the power in the negotiating process was on the miners' side while indigenous communities, who could benefit from a share of the mineral wealth, were dipping out.

"The agreements that come out of the talks neglect to honour the common law principal of compulsory acquisition," Mr Wharton said.

"Indigenous people are not being compensated."

Mr Wharton was among 10 Aboriginal activists and academics speaking at Brisbane's first Sovereignty and Land Rights Conference on Sunday.