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Premier welcomes Commonwealth decision on native title
27/10/2000 2:48 PM
Premier Richard Court has welcomed today’s announcement by Commonwealth Attorney General Daryl Williams that Western Australia’s alternative native title process complies with the provisions with the Commonwealth Native Title Act (NTA).
Mr Williams has said his determination would shortly be tabled in the Federal Parliament.
Mr Court said that while this was an encouraging development, the Labor Party in the Senate could still block the determination.
“Our legislation is fair, workable and critical for the long term development of this State,” he said.
“All I ask of the Senate is to give our legislation a go - I have little doubt that it will produce benefits for all those involved in the native title process, particularly the Aboriginal community.
“To demonstrate our commitment we are prepared to have the Senate apply a five-year sunset clause on the determinations so that the performance of our process can be assessed.”
Mr Court said Mr Williams’ decision meant that the Labor Party could not ‘duck’ the issue any longer.
“If Geoff Gallop and Kim Beazley don’t stand up for Western Australia and support this scheme they will be condemned by future generations as having put a brake on the development of this State,” the Premier said.
“Our position is clear - this is not the time for further negotiations and delay by the Labor Party.
“WA is not prepared to have its scheme further watered down as recently occurred when the Labor Party insisted on changes to a proposed Queensland alternative regime that was already badly flawed.
“Those changes demanded by Kim Beazley effectively destroyed the long term prospects for exploration in Queensland.
“Unlike Queensland we are not one bit interested in shabby back room deals with the ALP on this issue.”
Media contact: Casey Cahill 9222 9475