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Antarctica claim ludicrous and insulting

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Media Release

28 July 1998

Antarctica claim ludicrous and insulting

Frivolous native title claims such the claim over Antarctica planned by a Western Australian group are insulting to genuine claimants, the acting Chair nfjyrsic, Ray Robinson, said today.

The Wiljen people from the Goldfields-Esperance region of WA told ABC Radio last Friday that they would submit the claim on behalf of all Aboriginal people. While they did not expect the claim to be accepted, a spokesperson said the claim would embarrass the Howard government internationally over the native title issue.

“I wouldn’t bother commenting on such a ludicrous claim except that in the current political climate these people are generating problems that indigenous Australians don’t need,” Commissioner Robinson said.

*1 doubt that the Wiljen group will go ahead with their claim, but if they do they shouldn’t bother coming to ATSIC for any form of support, financial or otherwise. This is the sort of man-in-the-moon claim that we don’t want to know about.

“Native title is a serious and important issue for most Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. I’m surprised and disappointed that this group can’t show more respect.”

Media contacts: Brian Johnstone 0419 010 687

Martin Freckmann 018 631 045

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