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Update from Leader of Opposition on Native Title Amendment (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Bill 2017

Posted 21 Jun 2017 12:15PM

Email from Office of the Hon Bill Shorten MP - Update on Native Title Amendment (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Bill 2017

21 June 2017

Good morning

I want to update you regarding the Native Title Amendment (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Bill 2017, following your recent email to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on this issue.

Labor has voted in favour of this legislation to restore certainty to the native title system in Australia, after extensive consultation with Indigenous groups.

The legislation relates to around 130 Indigenous Land Use Agreements all around Australia. Indigenous communities have worked hard over decades to secure agreement over their land and waters, and these agreements were thrown into uncertainty by the decision in McGlade.

For Labor, this issue has always been about Indigenous land rights – not mining rights.

Labor objected to the government’s attempts to rush this legislation through the Parliament. Labor consulted with Indigenous people, and insisted on a full Senate inquiry so that these voices could be heard. It was only because of these consultations that significant issues with the bill were discovered, resulting in a number of last-minute amendments by the government.

Labor recognises that the Indigenous community is not united in its support for this bill. But the overwhelming message Labor has received through its consultation is that the consensus is in favour of certainty being returned to the native title system.

At every stage Labor has approached this issue with the best interests of native title holders and the native title system as our core consideration, and we will continue to do so.

Thank you for taking the time to contact the Leader of the Opposition.

kind regards

Nelson Tang                                 

Office of the Hon Bill Shorten MP

Leader of the Opposition I Federal Member for Maribyrnong

Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Phone: (02) 6277 4022