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Monday, 13 February 2012
Page: 847

Native Title

Mr CROOK (O'Connor) (14:26): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the longstanding Commonwealth offer to compensate states for the bulk of native title compensations, an arrangement which benefits our country and our Indigenous peoples. In particular, I refer to publicly available correspondence from then prime ministers Paul Keating and John Howard to the then WA Premier, Richard Court, committing to 75 per cent of the cost of native title settlements and compensation. I ask the Prime Minister: why are you now reneging on such an important longstanding and bipartisan arrangement?

Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:26): I thank the member for O'Connor for his question. What I would say to him is I learned of Premier Barnett's concern about this matter when I read it on the front page of one of our newspapers. I see Premier Barnett frequently. I am always available to speak to him should he want to speak to me and he has never raised this issue with me personally, not once. Should he choose to do so then, of course, I will have the discussion with him.