Australian news, and some related international items

Former Minister Macfarlane keen to “protect miners from native title”

Minister-turned-lobbyist Ian Macfarlane says mines need protection from native title
Macfarlane urges MPs to pass legislation to protect land use agreements as Indigenous leaders call for consultation,
Guardian, , 13 Mar 17, The former federal resources minister Ian Macfarlane has said the majority of 126 mining projects under Indigenous land use agreements could be shut down pending renegotiations following a federal court ruling on native title.

His comments come after a federal court ruling in the McGlade native title case found that an Indigenous land use agreement (Ilua) was invalid because not all Indigenous representatives had signed it.

Macfarlane, who heads the Queensland Resources Council (QRC), said the ruling jeopardised mining projects already in operation under Indigenous land use agreements (Iluas) which had been signed by a majority of Indigenous owners but not every owner. This meant those projects – a majority of which are in Queensland – could be shut down pending new agreements.

The ruling could also affect the controversial Adani Carmichael coalmine.

Macfarlane said the implication of the ruling was that mining companies would need to seek the signatures of all Indigenous owners, including deceased people. …….

The legal and constitutional affairs legislation committee is examining a government bill that would amend the native title legislation to confirm the legal status of registered Iluas with a majority but not all the signatures of all claimants. Macfarlane urged the parliament to pass the bill.

But Labor and the Greens have argued that the Coalition is rushing the bill through without proper consultation with Indigenous communities.

Wangan and Jagalingou traditional owners opposed to Adani’s Carmichael mine want the inquiry to be extended to allow proper consultation with Aboriginal communities.

“We are dealing with mining proponents who wish to destroy our country and disrespect our protocols on how we make decisions,” spokesman Adrian Burragubba told the committee.

“If the federal government intends to override the McGlade decision, the federal government would further disenfranchise the Wangan and Jagalingou people and further eliminate the voice of the true rightful traditional owners.”

The Cape York land council has objected to the legislation because it provides blanket validation for all agreements but it did not dispute certainty was required over Iluas……..


March 15, 2017 - Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, legal

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