Territory Stories

Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 28 February 2001



Debates Day 5 - Wednesday 28 February 2001

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Parliamentary Record 27


Debates for 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 8th Assembly 1997 - 2001




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



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DEBATES - Wednesday 28 February 2001 I have here a copy of Registered Applications for Native Title throughout Australia. This map details the applications for registering native title in Australia. It has been done by all the jurisdictions, the West Australians, the South Australians, Victorians, New South Welshmen, Queenslanders. They have all been pretty busy. And when we get to the Northern Territory - nothing. Well, when I say nothing, there are a couple of very small little spots. I table this because it shows that for some reason the NLC and the CLC have not been at all involved in a process that has seen a great deal of activity everywhere else in Australia. Again, I can only speculate as to the reason for that. The money is there. We talked about $17m. The member for Amhem assured us that it is still in the cupboard because it has not been spent on anything else. We can only speculate as to why the land councils would not want to identify any native title holders in the Northern Territory. In the speech I speculated on that, but I would really like to stand be corrected on that. If someone can come forward with information that may show that speculation of mine to be incorrect, I would welcome it. To those in the NLC who dont wish for there to be a successful conclusion to any relationship between the government and Aboriginal people, I say it is not the way to go. We really are trying very hard to work with Aboriginal people, and we would love the NLC to participate in that, as I know some members of the NLC would love for that to happen. There are some things that make it difficult. I would like to quote a few things out of the Land Rights News. Its circulation is to over 30 000 people all around the world. Unfortunately, the information that is in it at times leaves a lot to be deshed in terms of accuracy. I will just run through a couple. This one is a bag on me. I quote: Resource Development Minister, Daryl Manzie, has made several ill-informed and totally false comments in parliament and in the media about mining and native title. The first fallacy is that the Northern Territory government has been releasing the applications for ELs in a controlled manner. Well, I dont think we need to go into whether that is a fallacy or not. If we are only releasing around 10 a week when we have 1000 in a backlog, it shows that we certainly are being very, very controlled and it will take well over 12 months for those to come out. We are doing them in conjunction with the industry. There is the suggestion by the member for Stuart that we should package them up. We have certainly looked at that and it is impossible to do for a number of reasons. But we would be very pleased to sit down with the land council to see if there are areas where possibly that could happen and where it cant happen, and be able to see in an open why it couldnt happen. The claim that it is a fallacy we have been releasing the applications in a controlled manner is - well, I dont think I need to say anything else, but its certainly not fallacy. Another claim: Fallacy. The land councils have not attempted to deal with the applications. The quote says: The fact is the land councils have been flat out attempting to process these applications as they have come flooding in. Unfortunately, even though they have been flat out with $17m, they havent processed one; but they might get over that. Fallacy. The land councils have had four years to respond to these claims and should have been identifying native title claims throughout the Northern Territory over that time. Is Mr Manzie seriously suggesting the land councils should have put blanket claims over the entire Northern Territory in anticipation of that application regardless of where they occur? No, of course that is not what I suggested at all. I suggested the information has been available to the land councils for four years - we know they have accessed it - and it could have been utilised to be able to register the claims, which all other states have managed to do. There are a number of claims that are just totally and utterly inaccurate but they match the rhetoric of members in here. One wonders whether there is the possibility of the article being written by somebody with some sort of connection. Can I have a time extension? I just want to finish up with something. Mr ADAMSON (Corporate and Information Services): Mr Deputy Speaker, I move that so much of standing orders be suspended as would prevent the minister from concluding his comments. Motion agreed to. Mr MANZIE: Mr Deputy Speaker, it is not helpful when incorrect information is spread all over the world to decision-makers and opinion-makers. That is not the way to do business, and it is certainly not the way to reach a satisfactory negotiated conclusion to the many issues that we are very, very keen to proceed with. There is one last issue. I talked about the NLCs application in the Federal Court regarding the advertising in the Koori Mail and the NT News. I was advised the other day that there was an amendment to an application to amend the Federal Court application, and the NLC is seeking further orders that: (1) the Koori Mail newspaper is not a special-interest publication - in other words, its not an Aboriginal newspaper according to the details of 7541

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