Greens would welcome an opportunity to meet with Warren Mundine, Chief Executive of Generation One, to discuss potential reforms to Native Title which would deliver important economic benefits to Traditional Owners.
“The Greens have been very proactive about improving the native title system, including measures to reverse the onus of proof required for claims and ensuring traditional owners are able to benefit financially from their lands,” Senator Siewert said today.
“We’re committed to improving the native title system and have legislation before the Senate to achieve this.
“Part of our current legislation to amend the Native Title Act seeks to provide meaningful rights and a basis for economic and community development to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“These reforms have been developed through the based of expert opinion, extensive community consultation and have been through a Senate Inquiry.
“Improving native title and the recognition of rights to land, culture and resources is intended to provide a strong and sustainable basis for community and economic development.
“Currently there is no mechanism to provide for the recognition of commercial rights to enable agreement making that delivers on the stated intent of the NT, such as securing the adequate advancement of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders by providing a vehicle for social and economic development.
“Mr Mundine rightly identifies the importance of addressing the onus of proof burden within native title claims. Changing this onus is a priority for the Greens but unfortunately it does not have the support of either the ALP or the Coalition.
“I’m aware that we need to do more than amend Native Title to address the massive disadvantage face by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and will be reviewing with interest Mr Mundine’s proposals.
“Our Bill looks beyond a review process and takes definitive action on Native Title and I welcome an opportunity to discuss both our proposals and also those being put forward by Mr Mundine” Senator Siewert concluded.