Turn­bull upholds TO veto right

NT News - - NEWS - PAUL OS­BORNE

THE Turn­bull Gov­ern­ment has re­jected a call to re­move the abil­ity of Abo­rig­i­nal land councils to veto ap­pli­ca­tions for ex­plo­ration and min­ing li­cences.

A par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee rec­om­mended in an Oc­to­ber 2017 report that land rights laws be amended to re­move the veto.

The red tape com­mit­tee’s report con­cluded the eco­nomic ob­jec­tives of land rights laws were not be­ing met be­cause of the five-year power of veto.

But the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment yes­ter­day said in its re­sponse to the report it sup­ported the long-stand­ing right of tra­di­tional Abo­rig­i­nal land own­ers to con­trol Abo­rig­i­nal land use un­der the Land Rights Act.

How­ever a, work­ing group in­volv­ing fed­eral and North­ern Ter­ri­tory Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and land coun­cil rep­re­sen­ta­tives will con­sult peak in­dus­try bod­ies this year on re­form­ing the ex­plo­ration and min­ing pro­vi­sions of the act.

The NT is rep­re­sented by four land councils, the North­ern Land Coun­cil, Cen­tral Land Coun­cil, Anindilyakwa Land Coun­cil and Tiwi Land Coun­cil.

Pictures: JUSTIN KENNEDY

MAIN PICTURE: In­dige­nous dancers per­form ahead of the an­nual NAIDOC Week march, bot­tom left, in Dar­win LEFT: Natalie Leysley with her two daugh­ters Ruby Thorne, 6 and Siob­han Thorne, 8

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