Jun 08, 2017

Mining sector calls for Native Title certainty

Mining sector calls for Native Title certainty

The Queensland Resources Council is calling for a show of bipartisanship from the federal coalition and the Labor Party to ensure legislation to amend the Native Title Act is passed in the Senate on Tuesday.

The Native Title Amendment (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Bill 2017 was drafted in response to the McGlade judgment in the Federal Court in February, which held that all named applicants on a registered native title claim must sign the ILUA as a condition precedent to its registration.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the scenario meant that current and future ILUAs could be at risk.

QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane.

“If the amendments don’t pass, there is the potential to affect hundreds of mining leases in Queensland and cost thousands of jobs,” he said.

“The current situation is untenable, creates a massive strain on our country’s sovereign risk profile and makes foreign investors extremely nervous. In addition, the changes will ensure the current social and economic benefits enjoyed by Indigenous people who have ILUAs, remain in place and are continued for future generations of indigenous Australians.”

High profile indigenous leaders Nyunggai Warren Mundine, and most recently, Dr Marcia Langton, have also publicly denounced the tactics that have been used to stall the Bill.

Mr Macfarlane said the Senate must put aside politics and work with each other for the good of the nation and pass the amendment to the Native Title Act – to set in stone that ILUAs can be approved with a majority decision

“This situation is above politics – it’s about jobs, development, investor certainty, economic growth and Australia’s place in the global economy. It’s imperative Canberra works together to solve this matter as soon as possible,” he said.