Aborigines And Their Place In Politics Essay — страница 3

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Queensland, much of the argument has centred on whether Aboriginal systems of land occupancy were recognisably ownership institution under conventional Australian law. Since they depended on religious and cultural, rather than economic ties to the land, title appeared to be vested in corporate groups such as clans rather than individuals, and land was an inalienable property. The Liberal Party?s role in land rights consists of amendments to the Native Title Act in 1998. The Coalition government had a policy of amending the Native Title Act as part of their platform for the 1996 election. The amendment provides for a fair and workable solution that amends many of the problems in the preceding unworkable Act. It also resonates the Government?s desire to assure a fair outcome for

all interests. The Native Title Act:  established a National Title Tribunal to assist in the mediation of claims;  allowed for the establishment of an Indigenous Land Fund to support those whose native title had already been quenched; and  put in place procedures to defend native title by requiring that native title holders be consulted in advance if governments propose to grant certain interests in their land to mining companies or other parties. This is called the Right to Negotiate. However, the Native Title Amendment Act 1998 did not entirely benefit the Aborigines because this Amendment Act explicitly extinguished native title rights on pastoral leases. The Labor Party also has strong policies in regards to the issue of land rights. Policies of the Beazley Labor

Party in regards to Aboriginal land rights include native title being recognised as a property right by the common law of Australia. Native title holders are entitled to the complete protection of the law in utilising their rights, this protection also includes sacred sites. Land Councils are to be sufficiently resourced and conferred statutory responsibilities for the representation of Aboriginal interests in regards to land. The Labor Party also strongly feel that access to land and security of title are necessary to allow indigenous Australians to fully utilise their economic, social and cultural rights. One of the most disputed and probably by far the most emotional issue for those involved, is that of the Stolen Generation. The Stolen Generation involves children of mixed

descent, and sometimes fully descended children, being forcibly removed from their Aboriginal parents in an intentional policy of separating them from the influence of their indigenous culture, and thus forcing them to live as non-indigenous people. This became known as the policy of ?assimilation?. Former governments, including the current one, have begun to offer remedies to begin changing what has been done. One such example of beginning to right the wrongs is in the form of the ?Bringing Them Home? Report, which was commissioned by the previous government, in August 1995, and tabled in May 1997. The report stated that facilitating family reunions is the most essential and vital requirement of separated families. In light of the overall report, the Liberal government developed

a package consisting of $63 million in order to address family separation and its consequences, concentrating on family reunion and counselling. Other programs included in the $63 million package are link-up services, access to records, family support and parenting programs and an oral history project. Since funding was provided, Link-Up has assisted over 9400 people nationally in two years, involving 370 reunions. The Liberal Party?s policies claim that they will continue to assist those families living with the repercussions of separation. The Labor Party also has similar policies and attitudes to the Liberal Party in relation to the Stolen Generation. Labor also feels that the solutions to the issue of the Stolen Generation includes counselling arrangements, the linking up of

families, looking after people?s concerns psychologically who have been associated with this, and also compensation. The only difference, and probably a very major one, is that the Labor Party promises to make a national apology on behalf of the Commonwealth for any wrongs and hardships faced by the indigenous people as a result of policies of the past governments. The Liberal Party to this day has refused to do this, however they are still committed to assisting those affected by removal in a similar way to the Labor Party. In recent policy campaigns for the future election, Labor has promised, after full and inclusive negotiation with the Stolen Generations, to make a full response to the Brining Them Home Report. This response will include investigating non-adversarial methods