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Complementary land rights legislation

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The Minister for Aboriginal Affaire, Mr Ian Viner, said

today he had not seen either drafting instructions or the

complementary legislation to the Commonwealth Aboriginal Land

Rights (N.T.) Act introduced in the N.T. Legislative Assembly by

the Chief Secretary Or; Goff Lbtts today (Thursday)· '

Mr Viner said he was anxious for Aboriginals in thb

Northern Territory to understand that the introduction of the Bill

did not mean he had accepted its terms·

Mr Viner said he would be studying the Bill closely to

see whether it conformed with Commonwealth Government policies

and wishes of Aboriginals.

Firm assurances had been given by Dr· Letts, through

the Minister for the Northern Territory, Mr Adermann, that the

complementary legislation would be prepared with his own

participation and agreement, Mr Viner said.

This commitment still stood. There would need to be

further consultations with Aboriginals and careful consideration

of the terms of the legislation by himself and the Joint

Parliamentary Select Committee on Aboriginal Land Rights before

the Government coiilcj consider accepting it.

The Minister said he had discussed with Or. Letts in

December the way in which complementary legislation would 'be

prepared. This had been followed by a meeting in January between

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officers of hie Department, the Department of the Northern

Territory and representatives of the Northern Land Council.

Mr Viner also referred to the work of the Joint

Parliamentary Select Committee on Aboriginal Land Rights, set up

last year, one of whose tasks uas to consider whether the proposed

Territory legislation was adequate.

His Department had made a submission to the Committee

and had been invited to make a further one on the terms of the

Territory legislation, he said. The Government would be giving

careful consideration to the Committee’s recommendations on the


The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act

1976 was passed by Federal Parliament late last year and was

proclaimed onv.26 January 1977. It provides for complementary

legislation to be passed by the Northern Territory Legislative

Assembly to deal with ordinances covering entry to Aboriginal -

land, sacred sites, wildlife conservation and entry to seas

adjoining Aboriginal land. “

Canberra A.C.T.,

3 March 1977