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Native title bill to pass next week: Bipartisan support

Corporate Welfare over Aboriginal Rights and Responsibilities to Country
Corporate Welfare over the Rights and Responsibilities of First Nations

Article as published by NITV, 9 JUN 2017
(Original source: News Limited)

Labor and the government have come to a "settled position" which will deliver native title law changes through federal parliament next week.

The Wik decision of the High Court was attacked mercilessly by the Howard government with Tim Fischer (Deputy PM) boasting that there would be bucket loads of extinguishment, in the Howard government's response to the courts decision.

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The four applicants who have successfully appealed against the Native Title settlement
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*The four applicants who successfully appealed against a Native Title settlement in Western Australia and which triggered the governments move to 'tweek' the Native Title Act to appease offshore mining companies. Top left: Margaret Culbong Top right: Mingli Wanjurri McGlade Bottom left: Naomi Smith Bottom right: Mervyn Eades.
See: Footnote

The bill, slated to be debated in the Senate on Tuesday, is aimed at resolving legal uncertainty around more than 120 indigenous land use agreements relating to major projects, including Queensland's Carmichael mine proposed by Indian resources giant Adani.

Labor frontbencher Tim Hammond told a resources conference in Perth there was now a "settled position" and the opposition envisaged the bill would be passed next week.

A Federal Court ruling known as the McGlade case found an indigenous land use agreement could not be registered unless all members of the "registered native title claimant" signed the agreement, including members of the group who may have died.

The ruling overturned an earlier decision, which found that an area ILUA could be registered if it had been signed by at least one member of the registered native title claimant group.

After the McGlade decision the only avenue available to a registered native title claimant group, where there was not unanimous consent from all claimants, was to re-authorise a new applicant and make an application to remove the members of the group who refuse to sign.

The bill expected to pass parliament next week reverts the system to the pre- McGlade status quo.

Mr Hammond said it was unfortunate that due to "poor drafting and improper consultation" there had been five necessary amendments to the bill to correct faults not dealt with by the original legislation.

Attorney-General George Brandis says Labor delayed a final decision on the bill because it was torn between its "blue collar and green collar".

Members of the Wangan and Jagalingou registered native title claimant are in the Federal Court seeking to strike out Adani's ILUA.

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Footnote
(*) The proceedings in the High Court for the four members were all under the case name; McGlade v Registrar NTT & Ors. The cases under that name being:
P59/2015 – Mc Glade v. Registrar Native Title Tribunal & Ors
P60/2015 - Eades v. Registrar Native Title Tribunal & Ors
P61/2015 - Smith v. Registrar Native Title Tribunal & Ors
P62/2015 - Culbong v. Registrar Native Title Tribunal & Ors
It is our understanding that the group who formally opposed the 'SWALSC ILUA' and attended the 2014 meetings which triggered the action for High Court cases were: Mingli Wanjurri-Mc Glade (Senior Elder), Mervyn Eades, Naomi Smith, Margaret Culbong (Senior Elder), Benedict Taylor (Senior Elder), Joanne Hayward, Averil Williams, Carl Winmar, Lynette Winmar and Fabian Yarra.