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Indigenous Land Corporation welcomes Waanyi decision

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I ndigenous L and C orporation

9 February 1996

Indigenous Land C orporation w elcom es W aanyi decision

Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) Chairman, Mr David Ross, today welcomed the decision of the High Court to uphold the appeal of the Waanyi people. He said “the decision endorses and confirms the spirit of the Native Title Act 1993. The emphasis on mediation and negotiation in determining Native Title needs to be continued”.

The Waanyi decision is consistent with the ILC view of Native Title. “The role of the ILC is to complement Native Title - not replace it” said Mr Ross. “We have considered this issue in the development of oui first National Indigenous Land Strategy In some detail and have decided that predominately the core business of the ILC is the purchase of land where native title claims and negotiations are not possible,1 1

"The ILC was established in recognition that many indigenous people because they have been dispossessed of their lands would be unable to assert Native Title rights. The ILC will focus on lands which are significant for traditional and historical reasons but where Native Title has been ‘legally* extinguished” said Mr Ross.

“There are many grey area» in the ‘law' about where Native Title will be determined Or negotiated - so the ILC will focus during the next five years on meeting the needs of those indigenous peoples whose Native Title has been extinguished with certainty. Some flexibility and responsiveness to these Issues will be essential to the success of

the ILC” said Mr Ross.

“1 am disappointed with tire States and Commonwealth in arguing against the existence of Native Title on pastoral leases. The Commonwealth and States must realise that If such an outcome eventuates that it will have to at least treble funding to the Land Fund and the ILC. If not, the balance between the Land Fund (and the ILC)

and the Native Title Act will be lost and those Indigenous people who have legitimately expected to gain rights to pastoral land through the Native Title Act will have lost those rights” said Mr Ross,

The Indigenous Land Corporation came into existence on 1 June 1995 through the enactment of the Land Fund and Indigenous Land Corporation (ATSIC Amendment)

G.P 0 Box 052. AdeUiJi. S A 5001 Toi. (08) 407 0900 rax. (08) 2t? 7264 F i v e Call 0 0 8 818 490.


Bill 199$. Its gt>al is to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples the opportunity to acquire and manage land in a way that enhances social, cultural and economic well-being. The ILC is required to prepare a National Indigenous Land Strategy and regional strategies to guide it in its land acquisition and land

management functions. The National Indigenous Land Strategy is in the final stages of completion.

For further Information contact; David Ross 0419 213 563 Clare Henderson (06) 234 3335 or (06) 248 0289 •N