Vetoed down under

Published: Friday 15 November 1996

native rights are about to get tossed around with the new conservative federal government in Australia bringing in a set of proposed legislative amendments. Effectively, the amendments to the three-year-old Native Title Act would mean that in cases of disputes between aboriginal native title claimants and companies, the government can override objections if they threatened a project of 'major economic benefit' to the country.

Mining companies have complained that the lengthy processes laid down by the Act to clear the claims are rather cumbersome and could divert investments to other countries.

The amendments can, however, get possibly stalled during discussions at the Parliament as the government does not hold a senate majority. The attitude of minor parties and independents is, therefore, crucial.

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