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The Forum > Article Comments > Native title is still alive > Comments

Native title is still alive : Comments

By Sean Brennan, published 3/10/2006

Scaremongering about the Noongar decision ignores the continuity with previous decisions

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Nice piece Sean,

The now retired Judge who made the determination, Justice Wilcox today reminded us that the politicisation of Mabo and Wik in the early nineties still provides [after all these years] the sensationalist anti-Aboriginal sentiment that Howard (and Bomber Beazley. See http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200610/s1754261.htm

One could argue that this deep subtext of racist anti-Aboriginalism contributed significantly to Howard being elected in 1996.

Howard, like those who calmly slaughtered Aboriginal women and children on the frontier, has no compunction to negotiate anything with us because we represent his own political antithesis. We know who we are, we know this land is ours, and we are Aboriginal first, Australian second.

That the Noongar native title determination does not confer exclusive title, isnít a threat to people's backyards, doesn't take away freehold land or in fact the rights of most lease holders is inconsequential to Howard.

Any opportunity to slag off at blacks is a vote winner - so callous and ruthless is this man who then talks about the virtues of ĎAustralian valuesí. He makes me sick looking at him
Posted by Rainier, Tuesday, 3 October 2006 2:05:47 PM
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On the television , the night that native title was announced there were scenes of ecstatic Aboriginals celebrating their 'win'. Among them was a very well dressed Aboriginal elder [nice suit, nice tie etc] who stood up to the microphone and said,"Now the whites can pay their rent for this country!"
And that said it all for me.
There was not a starved,poorly dressed,badly treated,oppressed looking aboriginal in sight. All looked prosperous, well fed, probably had the latest vehicles, good homes.
Native Title is a discriminating ,apartheid piece of unfair judgement. Are Australians all equal ? Doesn't seem like it.
White Australians must pay rent to black Australians for the privilege of living in a land that has been developed by the pioneers and their descendants. There is no fairness in that.
Posted by mickijo, Tuesday, 3 October 2006 2:49:07 PM
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Mickjo, do yourself, your family, and especially your dog a favour, put down that playboy magazine, wipe your hands, and read the Wilcox determination here:http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/federal_ct/2006/1243.html

While you're at it, try and think deeper and analytically about these issues. Its people like you that bring down the good reputation of fair minded, hard working, white Australians.
Posted by Rainier, Tuesday, 3 October 2006 3:11:56 PM
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I wonder if the author of this article is going to bag Mr Carpenter (Labour Premier)for appealing this decision or is he just another Howard basher. It seems laughable that Mr Carpenter claims this appeal is needed to clarify the law. When has the legal profession clarified anything?

I don't know if this is a good or bad decsion to grant this title because no one (especially the lawyers) seem to be able to put in plain English what the decision means. The Labour party says they agree with native title and then appeal against it. Are they unified on anything?
Posted by runner, Tuesday, 3 October 2006 3:25:12 PM
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In appealing the Noongar decision to the full Federal Court, premier Carpenter is quoted as saying his government wanted clarification as he regarded the claim as not in line with previous claims, particularly the Yorta Yorta. But you don't appeal to a full bench unless you want the whole case overturned, and the WA Government, or any other Australian government for that matter simply wants a return to their comfort zone. They just don't want to think about it

Surely if you indulge in the type of spin of Carpenter, supporting Native Title, negotiations, etcetera, then you bite the bullet and sit down and accept the judge's decision and get on with it. You determine through consultation the boundaries of the claim.

I am a bit surprised that the claimants haven't upped the ante on the ALP by suggesting that by their appeal and a further waste of taxpayers money, the claimants will harden their negotiating stance. It may not make them a lot of friends but it is a distinctly old world legal tactic that can put the frighteners on some.
Posted by jup, Tuesday, 3 October 2006 10:05:23 PM
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I live and work with Aboriginals in Wiluna WA. Whilst I am very much sympathetic to the 'land rights' cause of Aboriginals and was elated to hear of their 'win' in court, the local reaction here greatly disappointed me. Our local mob, not Noongar, were not thrilled at all that their relatives, albeit maybe distant, had received what I saw as justice as last. One spokesman explained to me that in the opinion of other Aboriginals, the Noongar people did not deserve to win because they no longer practice 'lore'. He stated that they had 'lost their culture' as further explanation. Consequently he and other Aboriginals here had no intention of celebrating what to them was an unfair legal decision based on unfair claims. In fact, the locals have bitterly resented this latest decision.

Make of this insight what you will. My own perception of 'Aboriginality' has been fundamentally changed. Although I have tried to rationalise this reaction squarely with myself, I feel that Australia's first and sovereign inhabitants must create more internally cohesive bonds and pathways themselves, before they are are able to receive the full recognition that they truly deserve, in either the short or the long term.
Posted by banpokies1, Wednesday, 4 October 2006 2:13:20 AM
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