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Tuesday, 10 September 1996
Page: 3130

To the Honourable President and Members of the Senate:

This petition of certain citizens of Australia draws to the attention of the Senate the need to continue to allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who wish to claim native title, the right to access legal aid outside of the Representative Bodies established under the Native Title Act.

To force Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander claimants to seek funding from so-called representative bodies is oppressive and may result in breach of their human rights.

Your petitioners request the Senate to refuse to pass the amendment 183(4)(a) which would remove the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander claimants to seek legal aid for their native title claims from the Attorney-General's department independently of and without interference from representative bodies.

And your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray.