Native title change racist: Aboriginal groups

Selma Milovanovc; 22/2/10

Indigenous groups say proposed changes to the native title law are racist and a throwback to the Howard era, and will reduce Aboriginal land rights to little more than a symbol after 10 years of struggle. In submissions to a Senate inquiry into Native Title Amendment Bill 2, the nation’s key indigenous bodies say the bill relies on a view that the constitution allows the making of laws that are detrimental to Aborigines, something a Labor opposition once said was ”morally repugnant, socially divisive and would endanger reconciliation”. The federal government claims the proposed bill will help accelerate construction of urgently needed housing on land subject to native title, overcoming delay and uncertainty stemming from current rules.