Richard Court

Richard Court


    Labor hiding the truth on native title: Premier

    22/11/2000 8:00 AM

    Premier Richard Court says Kalgoorlie MLA Megan Anwyl is clutching at straws in her attempts to divert attention away from the fact that she has ‘sold-out’ the people of the Goldfields on native title.

    Mr Court said Ms Anwyl had now taken to re-writing history and was also pushing the Labor line that Western Australia should adopt the failing ‘Queensland model’ on native title.

    “I find it extraordinary that Ms Anwyl - who bitterly opposed our State native title legislation in the State Parliament - would distribute a brochure on native title saying ‘whichever way I (Ms Anwyl) voted the result would have been the same’,” Mr Court said.

    “She is admitting that on an issue of such importance to her electorate, she refused to stand up for the people of Kalgoorlie.

    “If she had voted with the Government, the impact of her stance might just have brought her party to its senses.

    “Instead - as she has always done - she kowtowed to the Labor Party line.”

    Mr Court said not only had Ms Anwyl abandoned the interests of her constituents, she had begun ‘spruiking’ the Labor Party claim that the Queensland Government had adopted a native title model that could provide a solution to Western Australia’s native title problems.

    “People like Kim Beazley and Megan Anwyl keep on talking about the success of the Queensland model, but the reality is far different from the picture they paint,” the Premier said.

    “For example the Queensland exploration regime applies the right to negotiate to any prospecting or exploration involving the removal of a turf of grass - so it effectively rules out all on ground exploration.

    “Their State-wide Agreement proposals are bogged down because the demands by native title claimants have been rejected as outrageous and in reality they are impractical.

    “It is now at the stage where the Queensland Government is seeking advice from us - the Western Australian Government - on how we have negotiated agreements to open up land for prospecting and exploration in this State.

    ”It seems the Queensland Government are not having as much success as we are.”

    Mr Court said it was time for Megan Anwyl to come clean with her constituents and admit that the Labor Party - both in Western Australia and Federally - had sabotaged the Government’s attempts to introduce a workable native title system into Western Australia.

    “Ms Anwyl can produce pamphlets on this issue accusing me of lying - but it is she who cannot escape the truth,” he said.

    Media contact: Casey Cahill 9222 9475