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Tuesday, 7 December 1976

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives in Parliament assembled. The petition of the undersigned respectfully showeth:

That the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Bill 1976, does not satisfy the Aboriginal needs for land in the Northern Territory.

Your petitioners most humbly pray that the House of Representatives, in Parliament assembled, should:

1.   Extend the freeze on European claims to the unalienated crown lands of the Northern Territory until 12 months after the passage of the Bill; and to provide for the speedy lodging and hearing of Aboriginal claims. The hearing of Aboriginal claims has been postponed as a result of Government decisions. Aboriginals should not be penalised.

2.   Amend the Bill to ensure:

(a)   The removal of all powers to pass Lands Right legislation which the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly has been granted; an in particular, its control over (i) sacred sites; (ii) entry permits to Aboriginal Lands; (iii) seas adjoining AboriginalLand and the fishing rights of non-Aborigines within two kilometres of Aboriginal Land; (iv) the right of Aborigines to freely enter pastoral stations; (v) the control of wildlife.

(b)   The control by Aborigines of all roads passing through Aboriginal lands.

(c)   The restoration of the Aboriginal Land Commissioner's power to hear claims based on need as well as traditional claims lodged by Aborigines.

(d)   The restoration of all powers vested in Land Councils and the Land Commissioner in the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) 1975 Bill.

(e)   A provision that any Government decision to override Aboriginal objections to mining on the basis of national interest be itself reviewed by both Houses of Parliament.

(f)   A provision that land-owning groups of Aborigines may apply to form separate trusts if they so wish.

(g)   The removal of artificial barriers to traditional lands such as are imposed by the Territory borders on the Pitjantara, Pintubi, Wonkanguru and other tribes.

And your petitioners as in duty bound will ever pray. by Mr Les McMahon.

Petition received.

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