Australian Greens respond to Native Title Amendment Bill 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017

Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues Senator Rachel Siewert says:  

“The proposed amendments to the Native Title Act have raised many issues that could have significant ramifications for Native Title holders. 

“There has been limited consultation with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as well as significant doubt of the operation of some of the measures.

“Due to these issues, the Australian Greens cannot support the Native Title Amendment legislation in its current form at this time.

“The Greens hold concerns that any changes to Native Title must be taken very seriously and could have far reaching implications in the future. 

“The committee process was rushed and not enough time has been given to the consideration of the changes proposed.

“The Greens agree that the Government should consider any implications for right-to-negotiate agreements as well as Land Use Agreements.

“It is clear that amendments to Native Title need to be made in light of the McGlade decision but more time is needed for any amendments to be considered and to enable other options to be looked at.

“We hold concerns that there are aspects of the Bill that water down the traditional decision making processes. This needs further interrogation and consultation.

“The Greens attempted to change the reporting date on this bill to May 8 2017 but this was not supported by the Senate, which was disappointing considering the potential ramifications of rushed legislation in this space”.

You can read the Australian Greens dissenting report into the Bill here (from Page 29 onwards).  

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