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Thursday, 9 December 1976
Page: 3564

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 1 976 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 speedy lodging and heating of Aboriginal Claims. The hearing of Aboriginal claims have 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 Land Rights Legislation from Northern Territory Legislative Assembly, particularly its control over sacred sites, entry permits, control over the seas adjoining Aboriginal land, the fishing rights of non-Aborigines, the right of Aborigines to enter pastoral stations, and control of wildlife on Aboriginal land.

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

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

(d)   The restoration of all powers vested in Lands Councils and the Land Commissioner in the 1975 Land Rights 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 wish.

(g)   The removal of artificial barriers to traditional owners imposed by the Territory Borders on all tribes so affected.

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

Petition received.

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