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Beattie should pull his finger out on Native Title.

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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Andrew Bartlett Deputy Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Queensland Australian Democrats spokesperson for Indigenous Affairs

Dated: 28 February 2007 Press Release Number: vljytiye Portfolio: Indigenous Affairs

Beattie Should Pull His Finger out on Native Title

Queensland Democrat Senator Andrew Bartlett has welcomed the landmark native title ceremony in NSW today marking the successful claim of the Githabul people, but has criticised Queensland's Premier Beattie for failing to advance Native Title on the Queensland side of the border.

"It is ludicrous that the Queensland government are stubbornly refusing to even negotiate with the Githabul people while the NSW government has completed the process and recognised their valid claims.

"Recognition of Native Title presents great opportunities to the entire community, as well as Indigenous people."

"South-east Queensland would benefit from having Indigenous peoples' continuing connections with the area legally recognised."

"The Queensland government should be embracing and promoting Native Title as an opportunity, not dragging their heels."

"The recognition of the Githabul claim in NSW can only bring good, and the same opportunity awaits Queensland if the state government would just pull its finger out."

"The Queensland government has continually failed Indigenous people, as the recent Partnerships Queensland Baseline Report 2006 showed, with Indigenous people in Queensland significantly more disadvantaged than others in almost every indicator of wellbeing.

"Premier Beattie conceded that the results were "depressing" and that his government was determined to solve many of those problems and was keen to work in partnership with Indigenous communities. A good start to this process would be for the Premier to quickly finalise the valid claims of the Githabul people.

"Native Title is important to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people which grants important rights to manage and care for country, the Premier should not be standing in the way of this.

"If he is serious about addressing Indigenous disadvantage he should and must listen to Indigenous people," concluded Senator Bartlett