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Native Title Act

The plan to undermine the Land Rights Act

The remaining framework and security of Aboriginal land, protected by the Land Rights Act, is in danger of being dropped into a big hole by Governments, bureaucracies and people who have no real understanding or sympathy for traditional communal land ownership.

'99-year town leases turn traditional ownership upside down', writes Ian Viner AO QC in a paper distributed the Northern Land Council on the history of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act and where we are at today. [node:read-more:link]

John Howard recognised continuing Aboriginal sovereignty in his Ten Point Plan for limiting Native Title


Former PM, John Howard

With the passage of time it is now painfully obvious that former Prime Minister, John Howard, fully realised that Aboriginal peoples maintain a very powerful position in Australia, so much so, that by amending the Native Title Act in 1998 he demonstrated the inherent power of Aboriginal peoples, which stems from our continuing sovereignty.

Having now reviewed his Ten Point Plan it is important for us, as First Nations Peoples, to revisit John Howard’s amendments and what they meant.

Howard’s Ten Point Plan promised ‘bucket loads’ of extinguishment of Native Title after the Wik decision, in which the High Court found that Native Title continued to exist on pastoral leases in Queensland. This sent the Howard government into a fervent need to create ‘certainty’ for the non-Aboriginal landholders, driven by the fear in existing landholders of our continuing connection to Country.

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