Native title amendments necessary to improve outcomes

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Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert, spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues said today she was 'waiting with interest' for the announcement of the Government's proposed amendments to the Native Title Act.

“The Native Title Act is in urgent need of amendment in order for it to truly deliver on its promise,” Senator Siewert said today.

“For years there have been calls individuals and organisations to simplify the system and make some measured changes to the legislation to improve outcomes for native title holders.

“Any Government amendments must include reversing the onus of proof placed on establishing connections to the land. The current burden of proof disadvantages those people who have experienced higher levels of displacement  over the past two centuries. The amendments should also improve the ‘good faith’ negotiations provisions in the Act.

“Both of these important measures are contained in the Greens Bill.

“If the Government is genuine in its commitment to improving the outcomes for native title any amendments must address these and other barriers in the legislation,” Senator Siewert concluded.