House of Reps passes Native Title Bill
A CONTROVERSIAL bill concerning Native Title laws has successfully passed through the House of Representatives.
Queensland Resources Council CEO Ian Macfarlane congratulated the Turnbull Government on the passing of the Native Title Amendment (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Bill 2017, and called for continued support through the Senate.
Mr Macfarlane said the measures were "urgently needed” to ensure security of agreements that are currently in place, and those struck in the future.
"And to reverse the February 1 ruling of the Federal Court in Western Australia that would have left current ILUAs void,” the CEO added.
The 'relatively short bill' was presented to the Attorney General George Brandis, who requested his department prepare it after a decision handed down recently by the full Federal Court rendered over 100 Indigenous land use agreements invalid.
The court decision impacts the $22 billion Adani Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail project along with 108 others in Queensland and 126 in total across Australia.
On February 1, the Federal Court in Western Australia rejected a $1.3 billion native title deal with the local Indigenous people because some representatives did not sign off on it.
Mr Macfarlane said it was imperative Canberra works together to solve this matter as soon as possible.
"That scenario would also mean future Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) could be at risk, which creates a massive strain on our country's sovereign risk profile and makes foreign investors extremely nervous. In addition, the urgent changes will ensure the current social and economic benefits enjoyed by Indigenous people who have ILUAs, remain in place,” he said.
"I call on all politicians from all sides of politics to raise up above politics and work to continue to push the amendments through the Senate, otherwise, if the Bill does not pass, it has the potential to affect hundreds of mining leases in Queensland and cost thousands of jobs.”