A timely test of land rights

The Weekend Australian - - COMMENTARY -

There is in­ter­est in the con­flict­ing land rights poli­cies of two key can­di­dates for the next fed­eral elec­tion in the elec­torate of Lin­giari (“Price to run for Coali­tion in next fed­eral elec­tion”, 8/2). The non-indige­nous Canberra-born sit­ting mem­ber War­ren Snow­don sup­ports the long es­tab­lished land rights ad­min­is­tra­tion model of land coun­cils and roy­al­ties.

His indige­nous Cen­tral Aus­tralian-born op­po­nent Jac­inta Nampi­jinpa Price be­lieves the whole sys­tem of lands rights and land coun­cil con­trol should be re­viewed in the in­ter­ests of a bet­ter indige­nous eco­nomic model. It is a sign of a healthy po­lit­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment where Abo­rig­i­nal peo- ple are now ques­tion­ing an es­tab­lished sys­tem of land rights set up by ac­tivists and do-good­ers that was based on ide­ol­ogy rather than on eco­nomic good sense.

Prac­ti­cal al­ter­na­tives to an out­moded and ide­al­is­tic view of land rights are long over­due and es­sen­tial from within the indige­nous com­mu­nity it­self if the cy­cle of poverty and so­cial dys­func­tion is to be bro­ken. John Bell, Hei­del­berg Heights, Vic

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