The New Native Title Crisis by Ian Wilson LL.B.

The Full Bench of the Federal Court of Australia, has invalidated a series of native title land-use agreements across the country. (The Australian, February 8, 2017, p. 1).

The decision in McGlade v Native Title Registrar [2017] FCAFC 10, which overrules QGC Pty Ltd v Bygrave (No. 2) [2010] FCA 1019, threatens mines, gas fields, agricultural projects and other infrastructure projects, with thousands of jobs at stake by the invalidation of around 200 agreements. The decision is set to be used against the $ 16 billion Carmichael coalmine in central Queensland.

The Court held that land-use agreements required the signed approval of every designated claimant in a clan’s native title claim to be valid. It was previously held in QGC that majority support was sufficient.

Here, my opinion is that the Full Court got this right in terms of a plain reading of the legislation, and that the administrators have had a major stuff up. This should not have happened; how difficult is it to get all the designated claimants to sign?

The federal government is moving to counter its huge mistake by amendments to the Native Title Act, patching up mistakes by legislation. But what is truly needed is an end to native title, undoing the economic and jurisprudential damage done by Mabo, Wik, and the Native Title Act itself, all in the name of political correctness in the Keating era.

We can start this process of fighting back by ensuring that the “No” case in the coming Aboriginal recognition referendum, which is really about the separation of Australia, is soundly defeated.
You are working away on that, I hope?



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Monday, 04 March 2024

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