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CLP show lack of understanding of Aboriginal Land Rights Act

Posted: Fri, August 17, 2012

Northern Land Council (NLC) Chief Executive Mr Kim Hill says he’s disappointed, but not surprised, by today’s announcement that the Country Liberals will support breakaway land councils. ''Today's announcement by Opposition Leader Terry Mills shows a clear lack of understanding of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976,” Mr Hill said.

“Not only is the concept of multiple land councils governing a single land trust in breach of the Act, the very Act itself is Federal legislation and out of the hands of Mr Mills - even if he were to form Government following next weekend’s election.

“This policy reeks of the 'divide and conquer' philosophy of Liberal governments of the past - both Federally and in the Territory.''

Mr Hill also questioned the honesty of Mr Mills and Shadow Indigenous Affairs Minister Adam Giles who fronted the NLC’s Full Council in June to discuss key Indigenous policy ahead of the August election – but failed to mention the party’s stance on breakaway land councils.

“It was at that same meeting that Mr Mills told our members he accepted and respected the High Court’s decision regarding Blue Mud Bay and then a week later we see his deputy Kezia Purick telling the media the CLP would lobby the Commonwealth for legislative change on the ruling if it won the election.”

Mr Hill suggested the CLP should focus on issues that are the responsibility of the Territory, rather than trying to create disunity in the Aboriginal community.

For a PDF version of the media release, click here.