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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2006 Week 11 Hansard (16 November) . . Page.. 3652..


Land-native title

(Question No 1366)

Mrs Dunne asked the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, upon notice, on 19 October 2006:

(1) Where is reference made in the Native Title Act 1994 to "Genealogy of Connection";

(2) What view does the ACT Government have in relation to genealogical connection to the land and its association with the establishment of Native Title in the ACT;

(3) Is it the intention of the ACT Government to ensure that Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders with any historic connection to Canberra and the region have equal recognition status to Ngu(n)nawal people who have a legitimate genealogical connection to Canberra and the region;

(4) Is it the ongoing intention of the ACT Government to consult with Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders with an historical connection only to Canberra and the region on matters of indigenous culture and heritage.

Mr Stanhope

: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) There is no reference to 'Genealogy of connection' in the Native Title Act 1994.

(2) The ACT Government does not have any view about 'genealogical connection to land'. In Native Title determinations genealogical evidence is relevant to the establishment of a continuing connection to land under traditional laws and customs. It is not necessarily conclusive. For example, in the Yorta case the High Court found that even though a genealogical connection might have been traced to an ancestor in the early times of settlement, there had been no continuous maintenance of traditional laws and customs by the relevant indigenous group. In the mid-nineteenth century the relevant group had been dispersed and simply ceased to exist as a group as a result of the encroachment of European settlement.

(3) It is the Government's intention to treat all local Indigenous groups with respect. The ACT Government cannot be the arbiter of the status of a particular Indigenous group, nor of the nature of their connection to the land.

(4) The ACT Government is obliged under the existing Native Title agreement to consult with the agreement parties on all Indigenous heritage matters. The ACT Government must also consult with a range of representative Indigenous groups under the Heritage Act 2004 (ACT).

Land-native title

(Question No 1367)

Mrs Burke asked the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, upon notice, on 19 October 2006:

What jurisdictional rights do the ACT and Federal Government's have to transfer proprietary rights to third parties whilst Native Title claims over ACT land remain unresolved or are still awaiting delivery of a final ruling in the court system.


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