LETTER: Native Title Act amendments should be withdrawn, says mining industry

Sir – Proposed amendments to the Native Title Act will increase uncertainty and inefficiency and lead to further delays in the native title negotiation process and in the release of mineral titles. The Amendment Bill should therefore be withdrawn immediately.

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) is very concerned about the limited consultation process to date. We are also very concerned with the lack of any real strategy that will see a reduction in the large number of native title claims still requiring resolution.

The Act is a complex and sensitive piece of legislation and any changes must be carefully and fully considered.

Ill-considered and hasty changes to the Act will have unintended consequences for Aboriginal communities, Aboriginal people, Federal Government, State / Territory Governments and industry.

The amendments appear to be based on very limited research and statistics and no evidence has been provided to indicate that they will be of benefit to all stakeholders.

AMEC welcomes the sensible position taken by the Coalition in opposing the Bill, and trusts that the new Attorney General, Hon Mark Dreyfus QC will recognise the issues and potential problems.

Despite recommending that the Amendment Bill should be withdrawn, AMEC has been proactive in consistently recommending that the Government should establish a high level stakeholder consultation process in order that all of the issues and concerns can be worked through in a collaborative manner.

AMEC is the peak national industry representative body for mineral exploration and mining companies within Australia with over 360 members nationally.

Background
Click here to download AMEC’s submission to the Senate Standing Committee and House of Representatives Standing Committee.

AMEC is the peak national industry representative body for mineral exploration and mining companies within Australia with over 360 members nationally.
Simon Bennison
CEO, Association of Mining and Exploration Companies

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4 Comments (starting with the most recent)

NB: If you want to reply to a previous comment, start your comment with this notation: @n where n is the number of the comment you want to reply to.
  1. Janet Brown
    Posted February 14, 2013 at 8:44 am

    The word indigenous means “of this place native to”. So all people born in Australia are Australians and this is our homeland. So tell us, all are Australians and indigenous Australians still Australian? Or are Australians those who were born else where and became Australian citizens and that is why you wrote about the differences. Segregation is alive and well whist we continue to separate people by race, colour and gender.

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  2. seduxen
    Posted February 12, 2013 at 5:45 am

    So, our politicians happy to protect the resources found on native lands from Australians, but unconditionally bowing down to the international money masters. It only shows who runs the show. And if you still didn’t get it: We, the Australian Public including Indigenous People, no we are not the one …

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  3. Tim Collins
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    AMEC’s willingness to fuel NT patoralists’ concerns that provisions related to national parks in this bill could apply to their pastoral leases is pathetic.

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  4. Russell Guy
    Posted February 8, 2013 at 10:53 am

    OM (Manganese), a subsidiary of OM Holdings has admitted that it will plead guilty to damaging an Aboriginal sacred site at Bootu Creek, 170kms north of Tennant Creek.
    They face two counts of desecrating the site and one count of damaging it.
    The mining company allegedly exploded a charge which split the rock outcrop after a crack had already been allegedly noticed. The miner is reportedly set to contest the desecration charge.
    AMEC may be concerned about changes to the Native Title Act, but these kind of incidents are also of concern.

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