Chapter 13.  

April 1995 - 2005

Carr (Labor) in six Acts







Work in progress. Updated 09/12/2005 

Note: This web page is part of a research blog, and will expand..



Children (Detention Centres) Regulation 1995 (No.458 1995) –Repealed



National Parks and Wildlife (Land Management Regulation) 1995 (No. 395 1995)


NSW Native Title Act  (1995?) CHECK date


"The Aboriginal problem"

"Enduring values in Australia's Aboriginal Culture... shows how much can be learned from Australia's Aboriginal culture, as the need to develop new ways of interacting with our environment and our fellow humans becomes urgent. It is inspired by the actions Aborigines who have reversed traditional secrecy, to reveal a way of life which bound together their multi-cultural society for more than 50,000 years. This book offers a powerful message of hope and reconciliation. It also raises serious questions about our current way of handling 'the Aboriginal problem.' It is a book for anyone who wants to understand an ancient culture, and is searching for new answers to some of the apparently intractable problems of modern day living.... that the values of the original Australians have taken on a new relevance as our society enters the information age.." [1]  

1996 to edit ...

NSW Fisheries Corporate Plan, Aboriginal Fisheries

"Mission: To work in partnership with indigenous peoples, the community, industries, and agencies to ensure the conservation and appropriate utilisation of aquatic resources for present and future generations ... Objectives: To appropriately share the fisheries resources amongst all user groups in accordance with the principles of social justice.  Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Environmental Policy (1994:5):  ... Hunting, fishing and gathering are fundamental to our peoples’ contemporary and traditional cultures, help to define our  identity, and are at the root of our relationship to the land. Hunting, fishing and gathering continue to provide a significant part  of the diet of many of our people, and also provide a range of raw materials. As cultural activities hunting, gathering and fishing are important vehicles for education, and help demonstrate to our succeeding generations our understandings of our place in the world ...  Aboriginal fisheries persist today and, no matter whether they are non-commercial or commercial fishing, they are made distinctive by their interconnection with Aboriginal culture ... Aboriginal people ... are involved in non-commercial fishing as well as in the fishing industry ... There are a number of Aboriginal fishing families who are involved either in

aquaculture (oysters and fish farms) or commercial fishing. Again, however, exact numbers of Aboriginal fishers in the industry are unknown as data is not currently collected on this topic ... the numbers of Aboriginal fishers involved in commercial fishing, particularly along the coast, have been decreasing ... From the very early moments of cultural contact, Aboriginal people were involved in more intensive, larger fishing operations. In many communities within NSW, the settler governments and organisations encouraged Aboriginal people into commercial fishing activities through the provision of boats and fishing gear. Boats and gear are known to have been provided to communities during the 1860s to 1890s.


Some of this work was done by government bodies, such as the Aboriginal

Protection or Welfare Board, in an attempt to assimilate Aboriginal people into

Non-Aboriginal culture and society. In some areas, Aboriginal people were

required by the government of the day to give up their catch to the government

one day a week. Some Aboriginal communities resented this and, refused to fish

on those days.


Over time, as the regulation of fishing for sale became more complex and more

expensive, many Aboriginal families and communities left the industry. Today,

those Aboriginal fishers still involved maintain a strong family fishing

operation and local community orientation. Some Aboriginal commercial fishers

allocate parts of their catch to cultural events. ...  Aboriginal fishing needs are culturally distinctive. However, many of the rules

and regulations for recreational fishing were established over time without

consulting Aboriginal fishing communities about their needs. It is for this

reason that Aboriginal people sometimes use special fishing permits so that they

can meet their cultural obligations.


At all other times, however, the standard rules and regulations for fishing

apply to everybody. This is because of the importance of protecting the

fisheries resource while there are so many people fishing


Common law native title and fisheries ... the NSW case of Mason v Tritton. 77  In that case, Mr Mason, an Aboriginal man, had been charged with collecting and shucking abalone contrary to the regulations under the Fisheries and Oyster Farms Act 1935 (NSW) ... The defence for Mr Mason argued that the regulations did not apply to him, since he enjoyed a right to fish as part of his native title rights in the relevant seas

which was recognised by the Australian common law.  He claimed that he was exercising this traditional right when apprehended.  It was argued that the general language of the Act and Regulations revealed no specific intent to extinguish that right.  Although he lost his appeals, he did so ultimately only upon a point of evidence.  His fundamental legal arguments were accepted by the Court of Appeal.  As Justice Kirby found: The native title claimed is that of a “right to fish” coastal waters... In my view the claim cannot succeed. This is not because the common law does not recognise the type of claim made. I would hold that it does. It is because Mr Mason, the appellant, failed to provide sufficient evidence that he had exercised such a traditional and customary 'right to fish' when apprehended. Had he established such exercise he would in my opinion, by law, now be entitled to the relief which he sought. 80 Justice Kirby noted that there is “no bar to the recognition” of fishing rights

as a component of ownership of land. 81  As a result, it would appear that at the very least, individuals have native title fishing rights where there is a communal native title to the area where the fishing takes place. [2]


"A collection of files ..."

"Throughout the Royal Commission's (RCIADIC) hearing of individual cases, certain patterns emerged. Most important among these was the extent to which the history of the individual had been recorded. Commissioner Johnstone commented that, for each individual whose death was being investigated, there was a collection of files maintained by agents of the state. These included records of the years in contact with schools, community welfare, adoption agencies, medical agencies, police, prison, probation and parole and finally, coroner's files. All of these, he said, documented  [3] check ref xxxxxxxx


Aboriginal people in custody

"One of the major reasons for having a Royal Commission was to reduce or stop Aboriginal deaths in custody and, for this to happen, there had to be a reduction in the number of Aboriginal people in custody. However ... rather than a reduction in the level of Aboriginal imprisonment, both during the life of the Royal Commission and since its completion, the numbers have in fact increased .. The dramatic increases in imprisonment of Aboriginal people are most significant in New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria ... despite a cost of $30 milhon., and after three years of hearing evidence that Aborigines were alleged to have been systematically beaten, harassed and persecuted by police and prison officers, not only have no officers been charged with an offence but Aborigines continue to be incarcerated at a disproportionate rate." [4]


An enquiry into removal of Indigenous children from their families

 " ... Forcible removal of Indigenous children is a tragic and very real part of Australian history ... in 1995, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) launched an enquiry into removal of Indigenous children from their families ..."Act 67:[5]




Aboriginal Land Rights Regulation 1996 ((No. 396 1996)



The National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and the New South Wales State Reconciliation Committee.

Col Markham, M.P., Speeches, 1997


Home » Hansard & Papers » Legislative Assembly »  »
NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard


Mr MARKHAM (Keira) [11.16 a.m.]: I move:

That this House: 

(1) Acknowledges and applauds the work done by both the National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and the New South Wales State Reconciliation Committee. 

(2) Recognises: 

(a) the value of the regional conferences held throughout major regional centres during February and March 1997 which were well attended by non-indigenous and indigenous people keen to work towards reconciliation; 

(b) 27 May 1997 as the commemoration of the thirtieth anniversary of the 1967 referendum when 92 per cent of Australians voted to allow indigenous people the right of citizenship in their own land; and 

(3) Supports the National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation in their hosting of the national convention in Melbourne from 26 to 28 May 1997 inclusive as an important part of the reconciliation process in Australia, as Australia heads towards the year 2001, the birth of Federation. 

Mr Patrick Dodson, Chairman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, wrote recently:

Reconciliation is about changes and the attitudes, the systems and the structures and the nature of the relationship that we want to create for the future. 

That is a strong statement, and one that I support totally. A number of regional Aboriginal reconciliation workshops were held in March in the lead-up to the National Reconciliation Convention, to be held in Melbourne between 26 and 28 May. Regional conferences were held in Batemans Bay, Wagga Wagga, Port Macquarie, Lismore, Dubbo, Tamworth and Parramatta. The workshops were well attended and the following topics were discussed: the reconciliation process, the role of council, and processes and outcomes to achieving real reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians. I assure honourable members that the debate was vigorous on many occasions. I am a member of the New South Wales State Reconciliation Committee. I attended the Batemans Bay and Tamworth workshops. Although the two areas are diverse, they hold similar concerns and offered similar solutions in relation to the problems.

The workshops emphasised the need for community commitment - reconciliation will have to come from the grassroots; it will have to be a people's movement. Governments can do only so much; the remaining solutions will have to come from the grassroots. People must realise what reconciliation is about; the movement has to be driven. As far as I am concerned, the process should not finish in 2001: that will be the starting point and it should go on for decades. Issues such as the need for dissemination on native title, compulsory Aboriginal studies, positive media coverage, land rights and cross-cultural awareness must be addressed to redress the current imbalances. People were consulted in relation to reconciliation issues in their local areas, and the workshops also looked at specific initiatives and examples that are working. Regional New South Wales has been able to put forward a strong view on this process.

The National Reconciliation Convention will recognise the thirtieth anniversary of the 1967 referendum. The campaign slogan for that referendum was "Right the wrongs". The referendum was carried overwhelmingly by the Australian people. The 1967 referendum came about during a time of global unrest. New South Wales was leading the civil rights movement in Australia. Pushing for the recognition of Aboriginal people and their rights to own land were Chicka Dixon, Faith Bandler, Kenny Brindall, the Aboriginal Waterside Workers Union and many others. It was a long road to reach the 1967 referendum.

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The campaign began during the civil rights movements in the 1930s and 1940s, led by William Cooper and the Labor member of Parliament Kim Beazley senior respectively. The campaign gained momentum after World War II - Aboriginal people were gathering strength as Aboriginal advancement groups were forming. The main objective of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders was the amendment of the Constitution. There were two parts to the referendum. First, section 51(xxvi) of the Constitution effectively denied the existence of Aboriginal people. It stated:

The Federal Government will count all races of people other than Aboriginals. 

Section 127 of the Constitution stated:

In reckoning the number of people of the Commonwealth, or of a State or other part of the Commonwealth, Aboriginal natives shall not be counted. 

By removing section 51(xxvi) and section 127, the Federal Government had the power to transfer responsibility from the States and Territories to the Commonwealth. The yes vote was given legislative effect on 10 August 1967, which was a major victory for the FCAATSI and supporters of the Aboriginal advancement movement. However, nothing really happened until the Whitlam Government came to power in 1972. It established the first Department of Aboriginal Affairs in Canberra.

The National Reconciliation Convention will be held at the World Congress Centre in Melbourne from 26 to 28 May. It will be hosted by the National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. The theme of the convention is "Renewal of the nation" through building relationships between indigenous people and the wider community. The stated aim of the convention is a united Australia that respects this land of ours, values the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and provides justice and equity for all. The convention is part of a strategy to involve all Australians in the reconciliation process as the centenary of Federation approaches.

The convention will commemorate the thirtieth anniversary of the 1967 referendum, when almost 92 per cent of Australians voted yes to giving indigenous people citizenship rights and allowing Commonwealth powers to override the archaic laws concerning indigenous people in the States and Territories. A special ceremony commemorating the thirtieth anniversary will be held on Tuesday, 27 May during the convention. The convention will have a number of themes, such as reconciliation in the community - how do we make it a reality? Other themes will include: indigenous self-determination; the 1967 referendum thirtieth anniversary; human rights and indigenous Australians; the documents of reconciliation and constitutional issues; the renewal of the nation - citizenship in Australia; and the way forward.

Speakers at the convention will include political leaders Senator Cheryl Kernot, the Leader of the Australian Democrats; Kim Beazley, the Leader of the Opposition; and John Howard, the Prime Minister. Other speakers will include Bishop Desmond Tutu, Mandawuy Yunupingu, Frank Brennan, Noel Pearson, Jennie George, Marcia Langton and Hugh Mackay, to name but a few. I assure honourable members that many other people will contribute to the conference. This is a great opportunity for our nation to show the rest of the world that we are serious about reconciling differences with the indigenous people of this country. That is something that has not been done. As I said earlier, it is absolutely imperative that the program continue for many decades.

I refer to the inaugural Lingiari Lecture that was delivered by Sir William Deane, the Governor-General of Australia, at the Northern Territory University, Darwin, in August 1996. It is important that members of Parliament take this matter on board. The document is called "Signpost", by Daguragu. Every member of every Parliament, indeed, every member of the Australian community, should read this lecture because it tells the story of the birth of the land rights movement in Australia. It helps to give an understanding of the true story of the walk-off from Wave Hill Station, the strike that happened some 30 years ago. I shall refer to that shortly. I shall read what the Governor-General had to say:

Signpost (i): Acknowledgment of the Past 

It should, I think, be apparent to all well-meaning people that true reconciliation between the Australian nation and its indigenous peoples is not achievable in the absence of acknowledgment by the nation of the wrongfulness of the past dispossession, oppression and degradation of the Aboriginal peoples. That is not to say that individual Australians who had no part in what was done in the past should feel or acknowledge personal guilt. It is simply to assert our identity as a nation and the basic fact that national shame, as well as national pride, can and should exist in relation to past acts and omissions, at least when done or made in the name of the community or with the authority of government. Where there is no room for national pride or national shame in the past, there can be no national soul. 

That is an important statement in the process of reconciliation. I return to my remarks about where land rights in this country were first born, that is,
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the Wave Hill walk-off, the strike, by Aboriginal stockmen and their families. Many people believe this walk-off was about unequal pay. However, that was only part of the campaign. What really initiated the walk-off was the complaint by Vincent Lingiari to the management of the Wave Hill station that European stockmen were sexually abusing the Aboriginal women at the station. That and the wage issue caused the walk-off.

That strike was also the very start of the campaign for land rights in this country. And here we are today, some 31 years on, confronting another national issue on land rights in this country. That has been brought about by the decision of the High Court in the Wik case, in which the High Court said that pastoral leases can coexist with native title. That is something this country must come to terms with because if we go down the wrong path we will be condemned internationally. The Wik decision cannot be isolated from reconciliation. How can anyone offer the hand of friendship and understanding if they are not prepared to look at what land and land rights are all about? Aboriginal people have owned land for tens of thousands of years and all they want to be able to do is to use that land for hunting, gathering and ceremonial purposes.

People in this country must start to realise the difference between how non-indigenous Australians view land and how indigenous Australians view land. Non-indigenous Australians regard land as just another economic asset, something to make money, to exploit, to sell off and so on. Aboriginal people consider land as the very soul of their culture and their existence. I assure the House that Aboriginal people will not walk away from their land easily. If the correct decisions are made regarding Wik - and I believe in coexistence - that will be one of the best and most poignant signs of reconciliation that could possibly be presented to the Aboriginal people.

I have been told by a number of leading Aboriginal negotiators that they are extremely concerned about what is happening in the Wik debate. They are worried about not only their land but the land of all Australians and about who owns that land. Who are the big pastoral leaseholders? Are they Australians, the battling farmers we hear about, or are they multinationals, big financiers, rich and powerful people? What happens to the land if it becomes freehold land and those powerful people get their grubby hands on it? That is what I want to know and what the people of this State and country should know.

Today is about recognising the thirtieth anniversary, recognising reconciliation and applauding people like Linda Burnie, who chairs the New South Wales Reconciliation Committee, and Joanne Selfe from the Department of Corrective Services who is the deputy chair of that committee. It is about acknowledging people such as Jeff Scott, the Director-General of the Department of Aboriginal Affairs, my colleague the honourable member for Georges River, who is also a member of that committee, and the many others who have attended meetings and given of their own time to ensure that the people of New South Wales understand reconciliation. The honourable member for Georges River and I went to Tamworth and she can testify to what I am saying. [Time expired.]

Mr HAZZARD (Wakehurst) [11.26 a.m.]: On behalf of the New South Wales Liberal and National parties it gives me great pleasure to join with the honourable member for Keira in supporting the motion before the House, applauding the work done by the National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and the New South Wales State Reconciliation Committee. I also recognise the value of the various conferences that have been held through February and March and the significance of the conference that will take place on 26, 27 and 28 May organised by the National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation at its national convention in Melbourne. Sir William Deane, in a lecture at the Northern Territory University in August 1996, said:

One hundred years from now, when we are approaching the second century of our nation, the dreamings of the Aboriginal peoples will record whether we Australians had the determination, tolerance and goodwill to convert short-term possibility into a reality that is timeless. 

One of the greatest challenges facing our nation as we move towards the centenary of Federation and the year 2001 is to bring all the peoples of Australia together, and to bring them together with a heart that wants to see one nation heading into the new century. Therefore, the theme of the Australian Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation Convention should be a landmark for all Australians; it should be the basis for the way forward. The honourable member for Keira has referred to the council's vision as enunciated in its various documents supporting the conference. I shall quote that again. The council's vision:

. . . is a united Australia which respects this land of ours, values the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage and provides justice and equity for all. 

It can be no less a noble pursuit when it is broken down into its individual components. Equity and justice for all requires that there be a focus on each of the issues which face indigenous Australians
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today and which prevent them from achieving their full potential both individually and in the overall context of moving forward as Australians. As we approach the centenary of Federation it is an indictment of Australia that Aboriginal people still suffer great adversity and from lack of educational opportunities. So many indigenous Australians do not complete a primary school education, let alone a secondary school education. So many indigenous Australians suffer from enormous health problems. I refer to a document released last year which dealt with a number of health issues.

I draw the attention of the House to the fact that the life expectancy of a female Aboriginal-Torres Strait Islander is 63 years compared with 81 for non-indigenous Australians. The life expectancy of indigenous males is 57 but 75 for non-indigenous Australians. That should send the message out loud and clear that indigenous Australians are not getting a fair go. There is no justice and equity in terms of health care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Aboriginal mothers account for almost 30 per cent of all maternal deaths but less than 3 per cent of confinements. Hospital discharge rates are well over the national average - 70 per cent higher for indigenous males and five per cent for indigenous females. And so it goes on. In some communities those percentages are far higher.

Not so long ago I visited Bathurst Island in the Northern Territory where I spoke with indigenous Australians who talked of the health issues which challenged them in their more isolated community. A whole range of difficult health problems is encountered from community to community. Contrary to what some may argue, as a nation we need to recognise that there has to be a preparedness and a commitment to provide additional resources to ensure that indigenous Australians rise to the level of equity. In current debate, arguments have been that every Australian, whether indigenous or non-indigenous, must receive the same amount of money and resources. Without giving too much emphasis to that debate, I say that most of those arguments are simplistic, silly and prejudiced and will do nothing for the greater vision of the position of Australia in the year 2001 as expressed by our Governor-General.

Of course, the concern is not just with health issues. As I said, education is of concern, as is the problem of indigenous Australians being incarcerated at a rate far greater than the rate for non-indigenous Australians. In some areas they are gaoled at 12 to 16 times the rate of non-indigenous Australians. Those are serious issues which all Australians need to address as we move towards our centenary of Federation. This motion is particularly important. It reflects upon the fact that only 30 years ago Aboriginal people were still struggling for the right to have a say in the future of the nation of combined Australian peoples. To many of us it seems like something from another century until we realise it is not that long ago that children were being stolen from their families on the basis of all sorts of strange and wonderful bureaucratic guidelines. I refer to The Stolen Generations, a publication of the New South Wales Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs. The introduction on page 2, referring to a letter from the Aboriginal Welfare Board to a police sergeant in a mid-western town of New South Wales in 1958, states:

In view of the inadequate provision as regards housing, food and care of the children of . . . on the Aboriginal Reserve at . . . would you kindly charge the children as neglected and commit them to the care of this Board. 

That was in 1958. That is an absolute outrage to any reasonably-minded person. Nowhere was there a focus on the loving family relationships that give people a sense of worth and self-esteem. Nowhere was there an understanding that those children had a right to be with their families. There was simply a focus on what was apparently a philosophy designed to destroy our indigenous Australians. I make it very clear as a member of the New South Wales Liberal Party that I consider that philosophy an outrage. It also puts in perspective the fact that today we are struggling to come to grips with that terrible history - a history which is not way back in our past but in our living memories and which very much affects many indigenous Australians who are trying to come to grips with the future of Australia.

On behalf of the Opposition I will be attending the conference in Melbourne. I look forward to the conference with its spirit of bipartisanship and I look forward also to attending the conference with the honourable member for Keira. I understand that the Deputy Premier, in his capacity as Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, will also be in attendance. I am certain that with the goodwill that has already been shown at the many regional meetings, together with the great efforts of many individuals and groups of both indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, we will achieve an outcome of a better Australia in the year 2001. Hopefully that better Australia in the future will have been nurtured by an understanding of our indigenous people and by a willingness to work with them. The Opposition is very pleased to support this motion moved by the honourable member for Keira.

Mr THOMPSON (Rockdale) [11.36 a.m.]: The National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation
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was established by a unanimous vote of the Commonwealth Parliament in 1991 to promote and oversee a process of reconciliation between the wider community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. On 14 November last year this Parliament unanimously resolved to reaffirm its commitment to the goals and processes of Aboriginal reconciliation and the importance of reconciliation to the future of the nation and the State. As we are virtually on the eve of the Australian Reconciliation Convention to be held in Melbourne from 26 to 28 May, it is fitting that the motion as proposed by the honourable member for Keira is discussed today. The timing of the convention is not accidental. May 27 is the thirtieth anniversary of the historic referendum when Australian people voted to change the Australian Constitution to remove clauses that discriminated against Aborigines.

With the changes to the Constitution, Aboriginal people were finally recognised as Australian citizens with equal rights to vote. One of the most eloquent proponents of the reconciliation process is Sir William Deane, the Governor-General. In a landmark speech, which was referred to by the honourable member for Keira, delivered as the inaugural Lingiari lecture on 22 August last year, Sir William said that genuine reconciliation between the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and our nation as a whole should be in the forefront of our national aspirations between now and 2001, the centenary of Federation. In order to move towards true reconciliation it is necessary to recognise the facts of our history, to face the hard realities of how Aboriginal people have been treated since their dispossession commenced in 1788. In his Lingiari speech Sir William Deane said:

It should, I think, be apparent to all well-meaning people that true reconciliation between the Australian nation and its indigenous peoples is not achievable in the absence of acknowledgment by the nation of the wrongfulness of the past disposition, oppression and degradation of the Aboriginal peoples. That is not to say that individual Australians who had no part in what was done in the past should feel or acknowledge personal guilt. It is simply to assert our identity as a nation and the basic fact that national shame, as well as national pride, can and should exist in relation to past acts and omissions, at least when done or made in the name of the community or with the authority of government. Where there is no room for national pride or national shame about the past, there can be no national soul. 

This is not the black armband view of history that some have suggested. It is surely a prerequisite to any move towards reconciliation to commence from a point of truth, not self-deception or smugness. Patrick Dodson, who was appointed chairperson of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation in 1991, said:

Reconciliation is about changes and the attitudes, the systems and the structures and the nature of the relationship that we want to create for the future. 

Paul Keating, when he was Prime Minister, said:

The process of reconciliation must start with an act of recognition. Recognition that it was we non-Aboriginal Australians who did the dispossessing; and yet we had always failed to ask ourselves how we would feel if it had been done to us. 

It is not to inflict guilt on this and future generations of Australians that we should face the realities of Aboriginal dispossession, it is to acknowledge our responsibility and their right to know. 

I feel more than a tinge of despair about the way things are going at present, and I know that many people have the same feeling. On the one hand we advocate reconciliation, truthfully acknowledging our wretched history of the treatment of Aborigines and pledging to take steps to redress it; on the other hand we have the signs of a regrowth of racism and social division in Australia. They are growing because of a lack of conviction, and certainly a lack of leadership from the Australian Government. The pathetic reluctance to say or do anything to counter the Hanson disease has been nothing short of gross irresponsibility - talk about fiddling while Rome burns! The fact that our Prime Minister has finally started to speak out only highlights the terrible mistake he made in maintaining his silence for so long. At a time when national leadership is so necessary we have vacillation and weakness. The opinion polls are more important than principle.

The disgraceful goings on about the Wik case, with possibly the biggest land grab anywhere in history being pressed by certain interests, have brought dismay and despair to many Australians, black and white. We say we support reconciliation yet we are presently witnesses to a most shameful chapter in our history. The forces unleashed during the 1996 Federal electorate campaign and by the more recent Wik decision present a great challenge to our nation. This challenge can be met, at least in major part, by recommitting ourselves to reconciliation. We must reject any return to the past. I firmly believe that Australians generally want to see reconciliation succeed. We should therefore reaffirm our commitment and consolidate the progress already made. [Time expired.]

Ms FICARRA (Georges River) [11.41 a.m.]: After more than 200 years Australia is yet to reconcile with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
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peoples. The National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation was established by the Australian Parliament in 1991. It is responsible for promoting the process of reconciliation, encouraging understanding and better relationships based on respect for one another. I recognise the fine chairmanship of Patrick Dodson, a Yawaru man from the Kimberley region in Western Australia. His dedication to indigenous welfare and human rights is unquestioned. Bipartisan support for the council reflects a national commitment to achieve reconciliation by the year 2001, the centenary of Australian Federation - a time to renew ourselves as a nation.

This commitment was reaffirmed on 30 October 1996 in a parliamentary declaration moved by the Prime Minister, the Hon. John Howard, and supported unanimously by all political parties - a commitment by all Australians to enjoy equal rights and be treated with equal respect regardless of race, colour, creed or origin; to maintain Australia as a culturally diverse, tolerant and open society united by an overriding commitment to our nation and its democratic institutions and values. The Federal Parliament denounced racial intolerance in any form as incompatible with the kind of society we are and want to be, and confirmed a national commitment to reconciliation. Reconciliation is about forming a new relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and the wider community, one that heals the pain of the past and ensures that we all share fairly and equally in our national citizenship.

A formal national reconciliation agreement should be underpinned by understanding, acceptance and the cooperation of people, organisations, and institutions at local, regional and national levels. Acknowledging indigenous people's cultural identity has restored their self-esteem about their identity. Sharing with them their cultures, pride and their spirituality involves a national healing for all Australians. Expressions of reconciliation grow out of communities, shaped and inspired by people coming together in our neighbourhoods, workplaces, schools, clubs, churches and daily lives. The Australian Reconciliation Convention will be a landmark event in the life of the National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation. It will be held at the World Congress Centre in Melbourne from 26 to 28 May 1997. The theme of the convention is renewal of the nation through building better relationships between indigenous peoples and the wider community to fulfil the council's vision of "a united Australia which respects this land of ours, values the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, and provides justice and equity for all".

To reflect the aspirations and views of all citizens, participants to the convention will be drawn from a variety of communities and many sectors of Australian society such as sport, youth, faith groups, rural, mining, environmental, union, business and governments at all levels. The convention also commemorates the thirtieth anniversary of the 1967 referendum in which nearly 92 per cent of Australians voted to give the Commonwealth power to make laws specific to indigenous people and to allow them to be counted in the census as Australian citizens. Tuesday, 3 June is the anniversary of the 1992 High Court of Australia Mabo decision which recognised the existence of native title. It is a great honour for me to represent the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Peter Collins, on the New South Wales State Reconciliation Committee, working alongside my parliamentary colleagues the Hon. Helen Sham-Ho from the other place and the honourable member for Keira, Col Markham. Regional meetings have taken place throughout Australia to enable individual communities to participate in the convention.

Meetings were held in Batemans Bay, Wagga Wagga, Port Macquarie, Lismore, Dubbo, Coffs Harbour, Parramatta and Tamworth. I was pleased to participate in the Tamworth meeting with the honourable member for Keira. Together we will explore, understand and accept the history of our shared experience, acknowledging that past injustice continues to give rise to present injustices for indigenous Australians. We will discover a common heritage together, respecting indigenous cultures and identity and removing disadvantages. We will participate in acts of reconciliation to renew our national identity and citizenship. I hope that we will face our shared destiny with enthusiasm and with a genuine hope for a brighter future for all Australians, including our indigenous population who have been neglected for years.

Mr WATKINS (Gladesville) [11.46 a.m.]: This motion comes on for debate at a critical and sensitive time for Aboriginal reconciliation. I am proud as a member of the Australian Labor Party and a member of this Parliament to support the motion acknowledging the work of the National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and the New South Wales State Reconciliation Committee, especially with the imminent commemoration of the thirtieth anniversary of the 1967 referendum which recognised the citizenship and equality of Australia's indigenous people. Aboriginal people in New South Wales and Australia in the years since Mabo have seen their aspirations and rights pushed to the forefront of the national debate. That debate has often been less than dignified or tolerant or sensible.

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However, overwhelmingly the respect, tolerance and good sense necessary for working out of problems and achieving advances have come from the Aboriginal side. Unfortunately, Aborigines seem to understand the real meaning of reconciliation and tolerance far better than the white governments, institutions and the electorate. The truth of the reality of Aboriginal disadvantage is overwhelming. The evidence is there in the community, but most seem deaf to it. I will not detail it here; I will detail the Federal Government's recent perverse attacks on Aboriginal services in this country. When the present Federal Government was elected there was the initial obscenity of its attack on the auditing standards of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission. It quickly became clear that the attack was baseless. Then in last year's budget spending on ATSIC was slashed by $470 million over four years. That has and will have a disastrous impact on ATSIC and especially on Aboriginal employment.

It is inevitable that indigenous unemployment, already at disastrous levels, will jump to almost 50 per cent next century. Just the day before yesterday there was an equally harsh attack on Abstudy with a reduction of $25 million, even though retention rates amongst Aboriginal children are so low and education is essential to their future. In the face of this attack the Aboriginal people are expected to retain their tolerance, their control, and support for a system that has caused their disadvantage, then blamed them for it and, finally, perversely targeted them for dissatisfaction in the wider community over a plethora of economic and community problems. Amazingly, Aboriginal people have, despite this, remained true to the spirit of reconciliation, and continue to work towards a truly just resolution of the problems.

The strength and dignity of the Aboriginal people throughout the Mabo and Wik debates in recent years have been clear. Depressingly those national debates have been too often characterised by ignorance and intolerance by many people who should know better, especially elected members of Parliament throughout Australia. Tolerance and commitment to reconciliation of Aboriginal people have never been clearer than in the recent weeks when, in the Wik debate and negotiations, they have been virtually left out of the process. In what has been hijacked as a debate between pastoralists and conservative politicians, many of whom are intent on completing the dispossession of 200 years ago, the views of the Aboriginal people have been virtually ignored. Their views and their thoughtful position are put last, if at all, and their needs or wishes are characterised as unreasonable, lunatic or unfair. They are treated as robbers, undignified and greedy land grabbers, despite the fact that the Wik judgment made clear that their limited rights over land had a clear legal base, and despite the fact that many of those calling for extinguishment under Wik know that if that is achieved they will be the beneficiaries of the greatest change of land title in the history of this nation.

The Prime Minister has a heavy responsibility to help bring about a conclusion of the Wik issue that builds on the reconciliation process and is central to the resolution of Aboriginal injustice in Australia. If he fails the test the result will be disastrous for the nation. This debate also comes at a time when the vile and ignorant message of Hanson is reaching across Australia. Noel Pearson, an untiring advocate for reconciliation, clearly put the Hanson phenomena in context in a recent address to the University of Wollongong. His words deserve detailed attention but, unfortunately, time will prevent me from quoting his words in their entirety. I appeal to everyone to read his comments of 5 May when he said:

I am not inclined to support the notion that Pauline Hanson is evil. The ideas she espouses and the feelings she is cultivating and the controversy she is revelling in is certainly ugly and repugnant, but my feelings for her are more of sorrow than anger. 

[Time expired.]

Mr D. L. PAGE (Ballina) [11.51 a.m.]: I support the motion moved by the honourable member for Keira. It is important to acknowledge the work done by the National Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and the New South Wales State Reconciliation Committee. I would also like to thank the many people, both indigenous and non-indigenous, who contributed to the recent regional conferences held throughout regional areas to advance the cause of Aboriginal reconciliation. I can remember the referendum in 1967 when 92 per cent of Australians voted to allow indigenous people the right to equal citizenship with other Australians. I remember thinking at the time how incredible it was that these equal rights had not been granted generations earlier. As a country member, I am on the public record as a strong supporter of Aboriginal reconciliation. From a very early age I spent a lot of time with Aboriginal people who mostly came from the Baryulgil area.

My desire to see genuine reconciliation has been heightened by my experience as a local member of Parliament, which has caused me to have frequent dealings with Aboriginal communities at Ballina, Byron Bay, Ocean Shores and Cabbage
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Tree Island. My contact with David Capeen, in particular, from Cabbage Tree Island and more recently from Ballina, has been a very enlightening and rewarding experience. He has done an enormous amount of work to improve the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in my electorate. We need to recognise that Aborigines have made a significant contribution to our country in wartime defence, through art, music, literature and culture, sport, their contribution to our pastoral industries, and in a host of other fields of human endeavour. It is important to pause for a moment to think about what we really mean by reconciliation. I would like to quote from the publication entitled The path to reconciliation: renewal of the nation published by the Australian Reconciliation Convention. In response to the question "What is reconciliation" the publication says:

Reconciliation is about building a new relationship between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians and the wider community, one that heals the pain of the past and ensures we all share fairly and equally in our national citizenship. 

There are essentially five steps to reconciliation. They are: 

•understanding and accepting the history of our shared experience between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the wider community, 

•respecting indigenous cultures and identity, 

•recognising that past injustice continues to give rise to present injustices for indigenous Australians, 

•identifying what more needs to be done and making changes within Australian society, 

•revaluing our citizenship to live together in unity and harmony. 

Reconciliation is not dependent on doing everything at once. We will do things better as a nation if we are all involved in what has to be done at the local, regional and national levels. If we are to achieve reconciliation, we have to recognise certain facts: a point made regularly by the honourable member for Keira, and I agree with him. We have to recognise that in establishing a western civilisation in this country, non-indigenous Australians are disrupted and, in some cases, destroyed, wreaking havoc among Aboriginal communities, forcibly separating families and introducing substances like alcohol and western diseases which have significantly disadvantaged these communities. Before we achieve reconciliation, we must first have recognition. Once we have recognised the mistakes of the past, we can then look to the future with hope and optimism. I do not support the idea that today's non-indigenous Australians should carry a permanent guilt complex, but we do need to recognise the realities of the past and, having done that, commit ourselves to making a better future. I should like to conclude my remarks by quoting from the message of Pat Dodson, Chairperson of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, when talking about the importance of the conference to be held in Melbourne on 26, 27, and 28 May. He states in a message at the beginning of the publication, Australian Reconciliation Convention:

The three-day convention at the World Congress Centre in Melbourne will bring together people from key sectors of the Australian community to map the way forward for reconciliation - to identify a path along which indigenous Australians and the wider community can walk together into the future. 

Reconciliation can play a significant part in shaping a more mature and harmonious Australia. To effect deep and lasting change in this country, reconciliation has to be a people's movement. 

I am sure that all honourable members agree with those sentiments. I commend the honourable member for Keira and other members who spoke in support of what I believe is important: bipartisan support of this motion. [Time expired.]

Mr MARKHAM (Keira) [11.56 a.m.], in reply: I thank the honourable members representing the electorates of Wakehurst, Rockdale, Georges River, Gladesville and Ballina for their contributions to this very important debate. I would like to comment on some of the statements made, although most speakers touched on similar issues, including the importance of reconciliation, the importance of the convention in Melbourne, the importance of recognising that it is 30 years since the referendum, as well as other issues dealing with health, the stolen generations, and land rights. A couple of speakers used two words that I refuse to use, but I use a scientific term - pH - to describe the acid tongue and destructive nature of that symbol. I can assure honourable members that racism will not be tolerated by people who are committed to human rights for all. Anyone who tolerates racism is totally off line and off cue. A pH level is a measure of acidity, and that is what such people are: mouths full of acid. I would also like to take up the point made by the honourable member for Wakehurst about the stolen generations. That is an ongoing issue.

On 30 April I had the honour of being invited by an organisation called Link-Up, which tries to bring together children stolen from Aboriginal families over the decades, to be a guest speaker at the launch of a book entitled In the Best Interests of the Child? - Stolen Children: Aboriginal Pain - White Shame at Eora Centre, Chippendale. The book, which was presented by Link-Up to the inquiry by the Human Rights Commission on the
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stolen children, refers to the stolen generations and contains individual and personal accounts of children taken from their families. In many cases they did not know until later life that they had been taken from their families, and in some cases they were astounded, shocked and destroyed. Of the 99 Aboriginal deaths in custody which ones were investigated by the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody? Approximately 48 of those 99 prisoners were from the stolen generation. I acknowledge the support given to my motion by the honourable member for Rockdale, the honourable member for Gladesville and Opposition members.

One of the questions that was asked at the regional conferences to which I referred earlier was why there was no Aboriginal person in an Australian Parliament. Those conferences called for a specific Act of Parliament to ensure seats for Aboriginal people in Federal, State and Territory parliaments. In the last few days honourable members would have received a paper from the Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues which calls for specific seats for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Federal and State parliaments. I have no doubt that one of the recommendations that will be made by the conference to be held in Melbourne from 26 to 28 May this year will be that the Federal Government should enact legislation to enable true and proper representation by indigenous Australians. [Time expired.]

Motion agreed to.

NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard, 15 May 1997, (article 6)

* Legislative Council
* Legislative Assembly
* -All by Sitting Day
* -Notices
* -Questions
* -Statutory Rules
* -Tabled Papers
* -Video Hansard
* -Votes
* Both Houses
* -All by Sitting Day
* -Hansard Indexes
* ·by Bill
* ·by Member
* ·by Subject

* Speakers:
Markham Mr Colin; Hazzard Mr Brad; Thompson Mr George; Ficarra Ms Marie; Watkins Mr John; Page Mr Donald
* Speech Type:
Motion; Debate


"The Lismore Local Government area is home to the Wiy-abal people. It is believed that the Indigenous inhabitants have existed in this region for 50,000 years and are part of the Bundjalung Nation ... "The Building Bundjalung Cultural Bridges Project" was funded by the National Office of Local Government, Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories and commenced in March 1996. The aim of this project was to improve relations between the two cultures to develop ongoing communications ... It has been acknowledged by all levels of Government that, for a range of reasons, the Indigenous communities have and continue to suffer from multiple disadvantages and discrimination. Lismore City Council (LCC) is committed to addressing the disadvantages and discrimination of Indigenous People in their Local Government Area (LGA) ... Council and the Indigenous people are more actively involved with problems that affect both parties. Barriers of communication that existed in the past are now starting to break down with the introduction of this program. Work carried out over the last twelve months by the Aboriginal Community Development Officers has assisted Council and the Indigenous people to find common ground when communicating on issues which are of concern to Council and the Indigenous people. Communication mechanisms which are already used by Council and the Indigenous people will be maintained to assist by Council employing a permanent Aboriginal Community Development Officer within Council's infrastructure. Council and the Indigenous community now have a foundation to develop ongoing communication and hopefully this will assist in Council Vision of Indigenous participation for future development in the community as a whole. 1.1 Council adopted the following vision statement in relation to the "Building Bundjalung Cultural Bridges Project". 'Council's vision is to ensure that Indigenous communities have an equal role in the strategies and directions that will shape our community through greater understanding and recognition of culture and identity and effective participation in Council's planning and operations on a regular basis'." [6]

Bringing Them Home; The Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families

" ... 'Bringing Them Home; The Report of the National Inquiry into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children from their Families' was tabled in the Australian Federal parliament on the 26 May 1997. The Report made 54 recommendations for positive change and addressed the continuing devastation of the lives of indigenous Australians caused by the laws and policies of the removal of Aboriginal children from their families ...The majority of Australian Governments made formal apologies in Parliament, initiated by the NSW Labor Government and made by the Premier, The Honourable RJ Carr MP. The Federal Government has refused on numerous occasions to make any formal apology." [8]


" An open letter on Aboriginal Deaths in Custody"

"After seeing the TV reports and reading about the outcomes of the recent State and Commonwealth Ministerial Aboriginal Deaths in Custody summit in Canberra, I see that all parties both black and white agreed not just to look at Aboriginal deaths in custody but to look at ways of preventing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from going into jail in the first place. It is very clear to me now that the only way for NSW to go which will stop Aboriginal deaths in custody and prevent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from going into custody is the Aboriginal Training Camp, as presented in the submission, which will be an environmentally sustainable kangaroo and emu farm which we believe in 7 years will have reached economic self-sustainability.

Inmates will have a more homely and family type of life where there are no walls. The only fences there, will be to keep the emus and kangaroos in. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people being what they are, one of the biggest problems that the Royal Commission failed to look at was the culture of Aboriginal people. Their culture does not coincide with walls. Their culture is free to roam. It's the walls and being locked up that is killing Aboriginal people and I am experiencing that now.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are forced to live in a white man's environment which is not their way of life. Prison environment clashes with their freedom to roam in the forests and mountains. To feel that brings them into their natural home environment. This would be provided by the Training Camp.

For the NSW State Government to provide 7000 hectares of forest at Whian Whian for the Aboriginal training camp will create the natural training and healing environment for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that they thirst for. It will allow young Aboriginal people to learn bush craft and their own culture that they long for.

Aboriginal people need to be able to feel that their spirits and mind and feeling is free, prison walls takes this away. Being depressed is unheard of for Aboriginal people outside of white society. Since European times they have picked up this symptom and it is something they can't handle. I have never experienced this feeling in my life before. It's a severe shock to me. To expect Aboriginal people to handle it is asking too much. Now I understand why Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people kill themselves in custody.

The feeling of being alone away from family is unbearable. I feel like a banished person. But I haven't been banished by my people. I know exactly why my people banished some people. They attacked that individual's deepest feelings as the worst punishment possible. But imprisoning is not the Aboriginal way. The banished people could still look at their tribe from a distance. But they couldn't talk to them. Noone would speak to them. But at least they could have eye-contact with their people from afar. After they had served their sentence set by the Elders they could return, completely forgiven, with no record or burden of guilt and a much better person.

The people who were banished, they didn't take their lives or make them feel suicidal. The punishment still hurt but they were still able to roam in their country. Prison walls is not the answer for Aboriginal people. Aboriginal people are very sensitive to environment. When in a hostile environment, they are vulnerable to it and can't bear it. Aboriginal people only picked up depression from white society. White society inflicted depression on Aboriginal people. This jail system is one of the worst forms of depression for an Aboriginal person. It's completely inappropriate for Aboriginal people and you can never address the problem of Aboriginal deaths in custody while Aboriginal people are locked up in jails."  [9]



Act 68

State Environment Planning Policy No. 18-Rural Landsharing Communities 1998 (No. 206 1998)


Act 69

State Environment Planning Policy No. 18 - Rural Landsharing Communities 1998 (No. 206 1998)


"I hope that this paper will make a significant contribution to the way we understand the past, which has been so important in forming the present. In particular, I hope that it will add to our understanding of the enormously important contribution which Aboriginal people brought to using and nurturing the resources of that terrain on a sustainable basis." [10]

“Whose Country Is This? Who are the Pastoralists?”

TOP TEN PASTORAL LANDHOLDERS: Company/Individual Country Millon. ha.

1) AMP Stanbroke Pastoral Co. (Australian) 12.69 m. ha 2) S. Kidman & Co. (Australian) 11.63 m. ha 3) Australian Agriculture Co. (Australian, owned by Elders) 6.51 m. ha 4) North Australian Pastoral Co. (Foster family of Tasmania) 5.71 m. ha 5) Hugh MacLachlan (Cousin of Defence Minister Ian MacLachlan) 5.3 m.ha 6) Consolidated Pastoral Co. (Kerry Packer) 4.83 m.ha 7) Heytesbury Pastoral Co. (Janet Holmes a Court) 3.63 m.ha. 8) McDonald family (National Party federal president Don & family) 3.08 m.ha 9) Brian Oxenford (Australian private cattle producer) 2.33 m.ha 10) Prudential Pastoral Co. (UK controlled) 2.0 m.ha

FOREIGN OWNED PASTORAL COMPANIES (Together, land holdings are bigger than Tasmania)

(Ranked by enterprise, size, Country, Hectares. 1) National Mutual: AXA France 806,... ha 2Twynam Pastoral Co.: j Kahlbetzer Argentina 383,507 ha 3) Prudential Pastoral Co. UK 2,016,290 ha 4) Clyde Agriculture: j : DKP Sabah Malaysia 904,680 ha 7) Tipperary: Bakire Bros. Indonesia 1,882,300 ha 8) Tasman Swire & Sons UK 592,109 ha 5) Auscott: Boswell Co USA 21,300 ha 6) Desa International Agriculture NZ 2 3,867 9) Western Development/Carabao: Sultan of Brunei Brunei 599,100 ha 10) Raymond St j USA 375,100 ha 11) Shipfield Pastoral Co: George Ishiyarna USA 287,593 ha 12) Gregory Hadjieleftheriadis Greece 62,250 (sourced from The Australian)

“Dear Editor

Other countries are being allowed to use and abuse our land. Why is the government protecting their rights over ours? What legal standing, as mere lease holders, do these people have in our Australian courts? How can they make a native title non claimant application, as a foreign citizen? And what does the tax-payer of this country get out of it? The Australian tax-payer would be far better off co-existing with Aboriginal people as the rightful custodians of the land, as they are the true owners, who never willingly gave the land away. All they could do, was sit back and watch the destruction of their heritage. And how much tax do these foreigners pay, for the merciless exploitation of this country?

When Governor Fitzroy set aside Crown land in 1847, he gave graziers the right to lease land, solely for the use of the grass grazing; and to Aboriginal people for hunting, and the usufructuary right to the 'spontaneous growth of the soil'. Wran, back in 1972, needed a way to put the NSW Land Rights Act (1983) into place, without damaging relationships between white Australian and Aboriginal people, and he left intact the spirit of the legislation, that Governor Fitzroy had put into place in 1847.

So I don't see how the government of today or any other day have the legal right to go over and above a piece of legislation that has worked since 1847.

The pastoralists of today didn't even know that co-existence existed before the Wik decision, and that they were grazing on land that Aboriginal people already had the legislative right to use. So why are they jumping up and down now? It has to be what Noel Pearson said, the Coalition are racist scum because they refuse to recognise Aboriginal rights that have been legislated since 1847.

All they need to do, is to get rid of the Racial Discrimination Act to show their true colours nationally and internationally.

Australian lease holders are squealing now about co-existence with Aboriginal people. Why aren't they complaining about co-existing with foreign lease holders, who are leasing this land for a pittance, and taking billions out of Australia? Only the Nationals and the Liberals would even contemplate sweeping this under the carpet, for their own secret agenda.

And if Aboriginal people get to share the riches that are still left in this country, what is wrong with that? because it's only been 125 years since they took all the riches from the Bundjalung Nation timber, minerals and the sea.

This was done bare-facedly, in this district by successive NSW Crown Land Commissioners Oakes, Fry and MacDonald, from 1839 onwards, using the Border and Native Mounted Police to track down, massacre, poison and murder the rightful owners of the Bundjalung Nation; from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay and inland to Glenn Innes, with the blatant aim of dispersing us from our land, for the benefit of Crown Land leaseholder.

And this is the story for Aboriginal people and leasehold land right across Australia today.

It has been reported that the Wik 10 Point Plan means that the Australian tax-payer will face the hugest compensation bill this country has ever seen. How much, if anything will these foreign interests holding Australian pastoral leases have to kick in, of the compensation bill?

The leasing of vast tracts of Australian land to overseas individuals from France, England, Argentina, Malaysia, Indonesia, NZ, Brunei, the US and Greece, for a start says other countries have power and control over the top native title claims of Australian indigenous people who are citizens of this land.

These foreign lease holders are not even citizens of Australia, but they control pastoral leases of millions of acres. What benefit is it for any Australian for these overseas individuals to fatten cattle in this country and ship them elsewhere?

None of these pastoral leases have been officially or legally explored for their mineral resources.  John Roberts, Widjabul Tribe,    September 1998”



The Offshore Minerals Act 1999 and the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991

This Acts contain some provisions aimed at protecting areas of  Aboriginal significance. Those Acts state: "In deciding whether to grant a mining or petroleum title, the minister is required to take into account the need to conserve and protect  features of Aboriginal, archaeological and historical interest in the land over which the title is sought. Conditions attached to the grant or renewal of a mining or petroleum title must include conditions relating to the conservation and protection of features of Aboriginal, archaeological and historical interest in the land that is subject to the title.


...Native Title in Australia and the Impact of the Stolen Generations

"Paper presented in Parliament on 25 August 1999 ... by the NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Aboriginal Affairs and Member for Wollongong, Mr Colin Markham MP ...'Native Title in Australia and the Impact of the Stolen Generations' ... Aboriginal culture in Australia is alive and well ... they continue their own internal  systems of law, culture, land tenure, authority and leadership ... What Europeans call settlement, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people call invasion. A proper acknowledgement of history is basic to understanding the present circumstances and claims of indigenous Australians ... From the early days of European invasion, from 1788 onwards, Aboriginal people were forcibly removed from their lands. This practice included the removal of Indigenous children for virtual slave labour and more seriously to eradicate the Aboriginal race ... These children have come to be known as the Stolen Generations ... " [12]


"1992 Heads of Government National Commitment to Improved Outcomes in the Delivery of Programs and Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples"

" The Second Black Parliament brought together elected representatives of ATSIC and the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) and State Parliamentarians from both Houses. At the session, Premier Bob Carr, Opposition Leader Peter Collins, ATSIC Commissioner Steve Gordon and NSW ALC Chairman Ossie Cruse signed an agreement re-affirming their commitment to the 1992 Heads of Government National Commitment to Improved Outcomes in the Delivery of Programs and Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. The Premier described the Black Parliament as "a unique expression of the support that exists in NSW across political party divisions and communities for Aboriginal reconciliation". Government actions outlined included: a $200 million infrastructure program for Aboriginal communities; the setting up of a new Aboriginal Housing Office; the handback of Mutawinji National Park to its traditional owners; a formal response to the Stolen Generations report (to be released by the end of 1998); and the introduction of native title legislation into the State Parliament."[13]



Lismore Local Environment Plan 2000 (No. 173 2000)



Talk Good to Ya'self [14]



"... Born in a shanty on 'LaPa' beach"

"At 89, Linda "Trudy" Longbottom is the 'oldest elder' of La Perouse. She is a retired warhorse who helped found the Redfern Aboriginal Medical Service and marched in the streets for land rights. Born in a shanty on 'La Pa' beach, a descendant of 26 Aborigines forced out of homes near Circular Quay in the 1880's, she likes Sydney and her community to their cultural and political past ... But the Aboriginal Land Rights act she struggled for has contributed to her pitifully poor standard of living in old age, says her daughter, Vanessa Longbottom. 'Who would have thought that something she fought for would around and destroy her rights?' Vanessa asked ... Mrs Longbottom lives in a dilapidated fibro house that was meant to be demolished six years ago, deemed a health hazard. She and the occupants of 15 other fibro houses on La Perouse Local Aboriginal Land Council property are waiting for replacement homes because $3.9 milhon. in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission funding has been frozen and will remain so while more than $50,000 in grants to the land council is unaccounted for ... Tony Hanrahan [15]


Geographical Names Board Dual Naming Policy

20/03/02 Geographical Names Board Dual Naming Policy Colin Markham MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Aboriginal Affairs 1995-2003 "Land Handbacks under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 ...Register of Aboriginal Owners and the Aboriginal Ownership of National Parks ... Current status of the register of Aboriginal owners ... Biamanga and Mount Grenfell Research Projects ... Biamanga-Gulaga ... Mount Grenfell ... What is the outcome of the project for Aboriginal people? ...What are the main benefits of the Aboriginal owned National Parks? ... Violence in Aboriginal families and communities ... Preserving Aboriginal languages in NSW ..."[16]


"Black Parliament"

"Representation in democracies – ensuring minorities are heard ... As part of the reconciliation process with indigenous Australians the issue of reserved seats for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples has been considered by a number of Parliaments in Australia. In NSW the Legislative Assembly has passed a number of resolutions supporting Aboriginal reconciliation and resolutions were passed in 1997 and 1998 authorising the suspension of proceedings of the House to permit the Chamber to be used for a "Black Parliament" ... The Black Parliament provides a positive step in the reconciliation, and also provides a forum for members of the Aboriginal community to discuss issues of concern. The Black Parliament essentially operated as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission meeting, with Members invited to attend and listen to Proceedings ..."[17] [18]


Myall Creek Massacre

Myall Creek Massacre. Mr Markham (Wollongong, Parliamentary Secretary) [10.06 a.m.]: "I move: That this House: (1) recognises the significance of Myall Creek as an example of the treatment of Aboriginal people and of justice being done; (2) recognise the importance of sharing the whole truth of Australian history (3) commend the Myall Creek Memorial Committee, and all the Aboriginal and other Australians who have worked together in a spirit of reconciliation to acknowledge the shared truth of our history ... (details of massacre) ... Henry Dangar's [19] honourable action of reporting a crime against an Aboriginal community was uncommon during these times as Aboriginal people were considered animals and pests ... Aboriginal studies should be a compulsory part of every child's education ... " Mr Hazzard [20](Wakehurst) [10.16 am]: "The Opposition is pleased to support the motion moved by the honourable member for Wollongong ... The honourable member for Wollongong refers to social justice. Indeed, it is social justice, it is fairness and it is equity. Today Aboriginal people suffer practical disadvantage in education, health, unemployment, and law and order. If that is still the case in another 10, 15 or even 20 years time, we should not at that point be proud of our history. Now is the time to take action, to look back at our history and look forward with hope to our future. We should take practical steps now to improve the lives of aboriginal people ..." (&c., &c.)


Wollumbin Sacred site

Wollumbin Forest Plantation Accreditation  [10.19 pm] (date) The Hon. RSL Jones [21] ... the issue of Wollumbin forest ... habitat loss, habitat fragmentation ... Wollumbin serves the same purpose to Aboriginal tribes of the east coast as does Uluru to Aboriginal tribes in Central Australia. We must preserve our heritage. There is not just one sacred site in Wollumbin. Aboriginal history proves the whole caldera is a sacred site. This incorporates Wollumbin forest. For thousands of years Aborigines passed through the lands below – Wollumbin. They are evidence of a lifestyle rich in tradition and of movement between the mountains, the forests and the coast. Another stone arrangement, near Brummies lookout on the western slopes of Mount Mountain, existed until about 1976. It consisted of two parallel mounds of stone, six foot long and three apart oriented east-west.


Acts, Parliamentary Proceedingss, Select Committee Reports


Government Gazette references, Select newspaper reports, notes, Secondary sources



Aborigines need capitalism, says Abbott

"Tony Abbott believes native title is holding back indigenous Australia. The Prime Minister's protege, Tony Abbott, is calling for native title to be replaced with freehold tenure, arguing the current communal land system locks indigenous people into "feudal" economies (etc) ..." [22]


Victims of the communist 1960's

'Lefties' distort facts, other historian claims.

 " The greatest crime against Aborigines was not committed by white settlers, but by Communist historians who had distorted the facts, controversial author Keith Windshuttle said this week. Mr Windschuttle, author of The Fabrication of Aboriginal History, took another swipe in the long-running dispute with fellow historians including Lyndall Roberts and Henry Reynolds, accusing them of being victims of the Communist 1960s ..."

(Also see: 1970 footnote, from Windschuttle, Keith, The Killing of History McLeay(1994)[23]


Auditor to examine peak body [24]


The good news

25 June 2003 "... NSW's net worth topping $100 bilhon. for the first time." [25]  


[1] McCloy, Peter; The Survival Dreaming (MI P/L Lindfield 1995



[2] NSW Fisheries Corporate Plan, Aboriginal Fisheries, (Australian Fishing Industry Council Statement: 1996)


[3] Stafford, Christine, in Legal Pluralism and the Colonial Legacy, indigenous experience of justice in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (Avebury 1995) page 219


[4] Stafford, Christine, in Legal Pluralism and the Colonial Legacy, indigenous experience of justice in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand (Avebury 1995) page 222


[5] Colin Markham MP 'a notable exception' NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Aboriginal Affairs Native Title and the Impact of the Stolen Generations -25 August 1999, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, 25th Australian and Pacific Regional Conference. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 23-25 August 1999.

[6] Morris, m and Williams. W Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Plan (Lismore City Council 1997) Page 1



[8]  Colin Markham MP 'a notable exception' NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Aboriginal Affairs Native Title and the Impact of the Stolen Generations -25 August 1999, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, 25th Australian and Pacific Regional Conference. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 23-25 August 1999.


[9]  Roberts J (Snr.) Widjabul Tribe, Bundjalung Nation Letter to the Editor Koori Mail (19th July 1997)


[10] Hallam, Sylvia J; Aborigines of the Cape York Area (The York Society (Inc.), 1998 (p.vii)



[12] Colin Markham MP 'a notable exception' NSW Parliamentary Secretary for Aboriginal Affairs Native Title and the Impact of the Stolen Generations -25 August 1999, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, 25th Australian and Pacific Regional Conference. Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, 23-25 August 1999.


[13] Giuseppe Stramandinoli, Second black parliament makes history ATSIC News, The Rural Women's Network  (NSW Agriculture 28 January 1999).



[14] Talk Good to Yaself!, Blak N' Blue (Streetwize Communications) (2002?)


[15] Elder Stateswoman left to live in a hazard , in Jopson, Sandra, SMH December 2 2002 (



[16] 'a notable exception' Markham, Colin MP (Labor NSW) Speech notes for the Parliamentary Secretary for Aboriginal Affairs, for the opening of the NSWALC Statewide Meeting in Coffs Harbour 23/7/02


[17] Markham, Colin MP (Labor NSW) 'a notable exception' Defending Democratic Principles to Preserve Social Stability, Windhoek, Namibia, 11/9/02


[18] Markham, Colin MP (Labor NSW) Myall Creek Massacre (LA Hansard Extracts – 52nd Parliament of NSW  date ???


Governor Gipps and the Myall Creek murderers, Chapter 2 of this work (Page ...)


[19] is this Henry Dangar of the Legislative Council? Check.


[20] (Relevant biographical xxx)


[21] Jones, R, (The Hon) 'a notable exception' Wollumbin Forest Plantation Accreditation LC Hansard Extracts – 52nd Parliament of NSW [10.19 pm] (DATE) (Biographical xxxx)


[22] Metherell, Mark, Aborigines need capitalism, says Abbott in (Sydney Morning Herald 17 March 2003)


[23] Northern Star Feb 03


[24] koorie mail june 4 2003


[25] Wainwright R and Totaro P; Michael Egan &c. ... The good news (Sydney Morning Herald 25 June 2003)