Mines and Lands Minister George Cash today issued policy statements concerning the validity, protection and continuing grant of Mining and Land Act Titles in Western Australia.
Mr Cash said, as a result of yesterday's High Court judgment, the State Government had clarified the procedures which would now apply.
"The Government will stand by every title it has issued," Mr Cash said.
Mr Cash said in relation to titles issued before January 1, 1994, the Government would introduce legislation which would ensure the validity of every title issued before that date, in accordance with the provisions of the Commonwealth Native Title Act.
The Minister said he was pleased to note that the Prime Minister had finally stated that the Commonwealth was prepared to work with the Western Australian Government to ensure that issues arising from the High Court judgment could be addressed in a co-operative manner. He said up until now they had ignored WA's concerns.
Mr Cash acknowledged that the question on whether pastoral leases had extinguished native title was not addressed in the High Court judgment and there was an urgent need for this matter to be resolved.
Premier Richard Court had today written to the Prime Minister seeking clarification on this matter.
"I have also written to the Commonwealth's Special Minister of State Gary Johns seeking to continue our ongoing discussions to determine the changes required to be initiated to make the Commonwealth's Native Title Act workable at an operational level in WA," Mr Cash said.
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