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Fifth native title report of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander social justice commissioner.



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NEWS RELEASE

 

ATTORNEY- GENERAL

THE HON DARYL WILLIAMS AM QC MP

 

12 May 1999

563

 

FIFTH NATIVE TITLE REPORT OF THE ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER SOCIAL JUSTICE COMMISSIONER

 

The Government today tabled the fifth report on Native Title by the Acti ng Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner.

 

The report represents a particular view on native title issues. The Government does not share this view, nor does it agree with the conclusions reached.

 

The report raises no new issues. The issues discussed in the report have been in the public arena for some time and have been the subject of exhaustive debate.

 

The Government sought consensus on native title through an extensive process of consultation with all stakeholders in the development of the Native Title Amendment Act. There was a major public debate on the issues and a lengthy and vigorous debate in the Australian Parliament.

 

The report examines the native title regime in the context of its domestic operation and Australia’s international obligations.

 

The Government rejects the report’s contention that the amendments subordinate native title interests in a discriminatory manner and that they either adversely affect or extinguish native title while permitting the expansion of non-indigenous interests in land.

 

Australia has a balanced and comprehensive approach to native title.

 

Australia’s system respects the common law on native title. Australia has legislation that recognises native title, ensures its protection and provides certainty for land management where there are co-existing interests. It also provides a framework for dealing with native title through a claims process and by providing legal certainty for agreements.

 

The Native Title Act, as amended, is consistent with Australia’s international obligations.

 

The Government is firmly of the view that the Native Title Act provides the appropriate balance between the rights of native title holders and the rights of others with interests in Australia’s land and waters.

 

Media contact: Nicholas Harford (02) 6277 7300

 

 

 

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