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Unlocking native title

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The system needs attitudinal change as much as it needs Nicola Roxon’s proposed legislative reforms, writes Sean Brennan in Inside Story • IN TOWNSVILLE last week for the twentieth anniversary of the High Court’s Mabo decision, Attorney-General Nicola Roxon outlined four proposed amendments to the Native Title Act designed to “speed up” the determination process, encourage agreement-making and help Indigenous people “unlock” the economic benefits of their native title. Reactions were mixed. The Coalition took a notably adversarial position, with Senator George Brandis reportedly arguing that the consequences of the changes would be “complete confusion” and a fall in rural property values.Bryan Wyatt, who heads an alliance of Indigenous representative bodies, the National Native Title Council, said the changes fell well short of what was needed. The mining industry peak body, the Minerals Council of Australia, backed the government; the National Farmers Federation echoed Brandis’s warning about uncertainty… Read the full article Photo: Bidgee/ Wikimedia

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