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Wednesday, 14 March 1973
Page: 537

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled. The humble petition of the persons hereunder, the residents of the Division of Leichhardt respectfully showeth that:

1.   We are, with all other Australian Aboriginals the victims of the expropriation without treaty or compensation of this Continent and

2.   We believe that all possible steps must now be taken both to prevent any further erosion of remaining Aboriginal land and also to make adequate reparation for the grievous wrong suffered over 200 years by a cultural minority group and

3.   We believe that because we Aboriginal people are now rapidly reaching a crisis of our own identity, that for us 'land and identity are synonymous', the matter is extremely urgent

Your petitioners therefore humbly pray that the House of Representatives will

1.   Introduce legislation to provide for the corporate Aboriginal title to all the Aboriginal Reserves in the Northern Territory setting up, in preparation for such legislation, a strong legal commission to formulate where necessary, the structure for the corporate holding of land by Aborigines.

2.   Suspend such provisions of the Mining Acts in

Aboriginal Reserves to give effective priority in prospecting and mineral rights to corporate Aboriginal groups.

3.   Continue and expand the commendable policy of purchase of suitable pastoral properties on non-reserved lands with regular ownership rights in the hands of selected Aboriginal groups.

4.   Use the powers granted to the Commonwealth under the Referendum of 1967 to ensure similar measures by all State Governments, especially with regard to the recognition and corporate holding of Aboriginal reserves within these states.

5.   As an act of compensation for the loss of all other parts of the Continent, establish a National Aboriginal Trust Fund, of a large size, for the benefit and advancement of Aborigines, to be under Aborigines' control, and to be in addition to normal Government assistance to the Aborigines as Australian citizens.

And your Petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray by Mr Bryant.

Petition received.

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