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Democrats recognise Karajarri native title fight.



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senator.ridgeway@aph.gov.au www.democrats.org.au

DEMOCRATS MEDIA 04/878 WEDNESDAY 8 SEPTEMBER 2004 SENATOR ADEN RIDGEWAY AUSTRALIAN DEMOCRATS INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS SPOKESPERSON DEMOCRATS RECOGNISE KARAJARRI NATIVE TITLE FIGHT The Australian Democrats today congratulated the Karajarri People on gaining native title rights over 5,000 square kilometres of their land in Western Australia. Democrats Indigenous Affairs spokesperson, Senator Aden Ridgeway, said that while this is a hard won victory for the Karajarri, their case highlights some of the fundamental problems in the native title regime, which prevent traditional owners getting real benefits from the system. "The Native Title Act is full of logistical and legal problems which work against Indigenous people not for them," said Senator Ridgeway. "It is a ridiculous situation that the Native Title Act requires the traditional owners to set up a corporation to hold native title on their behalf and yet the corporation is given no funding. "This also makes it hard for third parties wanting to negotiate with traditional owners because the corporations have no financial capacity. "It is no good for state and commonwealth governments to blame each other for this lack of funding; it should be prescribed in the legislation. "The Democrats repeat our call to whichever party forms government after the election to return to the negotiating table with Indigenous representatives to come up with a workable native title regime," concluded Senator Ridgeway. The Democrats Indigenous policy platform was launched in Alice Springs on Monday 6 September and can be found at http://www.adenridgeway.com/Portfolios/INDIGENOUS%20AFFAIRS%20Indigenous%20Affairs.pdf Media Contact - Liz Willis 0417 410 506 www.adenridgeway.com News releases can also be sent by email. Please advise us if you want to join the email distribution list.