Australian news, and some related international items

National Native Title Conference for benefit of whom?

Oxfam report mocks Native Title, Lateral Love Australia, by Gerry Georgatos May 20th, 2013 “……The Oxfam report and Mr Anaya’s arguments are timely with the annual National Native Title Conference scheduled for the first week of June – in Alice Springs. There is much wrong on the Australian landscape with Native Title, with some of the resources sector ripping off blind Aboriginal communities, with the so-called mining boom having returned contextually little to Aboriginal communities, and with huge inconsistencies in compensation payments for Traditional Owners signing Indigenous Land Use Agreements…….

In 2013, the annual National Native Title Conference will be convened by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and the Central Land Council (CLC) on the traditional lands of the Central Arrernte people, the Native Title holders of the Alice Springs area.

Rest assured, that there will be changes to Native Title practices end of the year but sadly they will not be favourable to Aboriginal peoples.This year’s Conference title is “Shaping the Future” but for whom?

Themes of the Conference will include “The Native Title Act 20 years on, where to from here?” But to be honest, it should be back to the drawing board. The Native Title Act was skewed from its original moderate intentions by Prime Minister Paul Keating to a weak policy structure that allowed the resources sector and developers to steamroll Aboriginal peoples. The weakness in the Act is that negotiations between parties are to be had “in good faith.”

The Act was further watered down by Prime Minister Bob Hawke. The Native Title Act has continued on as the outrageous (racist) joke that it has been ever since cheating Aboriginal communities out of opportunity and equality and turning not only Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples against each other but also Aboriginal peoples against one another.

The remaining themes of the Conference are how to manage the little returns Aboriginal Corporations secure from mining industries for their Traditional Owners – ‘development options’ and ‘Indigenous governance.’ The Conference would better serve impoverished Aboriginal peoples and Native Title holders if it instead themed Oxfam’s report – that only one of the 53 biggest miners on the Australian Securities Exchange had a public commitment to the principle of informed consent for Aboriginal peoples.

May 23, 2013 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL

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