Indigenous Australians Minister rules out judicial inquiry into Native Title

REFORMS: Indigenous Australians Minister Key Wyatt's office spoke of new measures to increase transparency of Native Title corporations. The Minister is pictured at his swearing-in ceremony. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

REFORMS: Indigenous Australians Minister Key Wyatt's office spoke of new measures to increase transparency of Native Title corporations. The Minister is pictured at his swearing-in ceremony. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The Federal Government says it has no plans for a Royal Commission into Native Title "at this time".

This comes after calls for an inquiry by Adnyamathanha people including Port Augusta-based Charlie Jackson and Gladstone's Enice Marsh.

Mr Jackson is chairman of the Aboriginal Reform Group that challenged the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association to hold a general meeting so that royalty payments from Beverley uranium mine could be clarified.

About 2000 Adnyamathanha are in the north of South Australia, mostly living in Port Augusta.

In response to questions from The Transcontinental, Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt's office pointed to plans to increase accountability and transparency of Native Title corporations.

Mr Wyatt's spokesman said that Native Title had been "part of Australia's legal system for more than 25 years".

"The recognition and exercise of Native Title rights contributes to economic, social and cultural improvements for Indigenous people," he said.

"Many Native Title groups have been able to use their rights to generate wealth. Each group decides how this wealth is managed and used.

"It is not unusual for there to be differences of views within a Native Title group about the exercise of rights or use of mining royalties. Any allegations of impropriety should be taken up with the relevant authorities.

"The Commonwealth funds the administration of the Native Title system, including the National Native Title Tribunal, Federal Court and 15 Native Title representative bodies and service providers that help Native Title claimants and holders.

"The government is progressing reforms to the Native Title system which include new pathways for dispute resolution and measures which increase the accountability and transparency of Native Title corporations.

"The government does not propose to comment on individual cases subject to legal proceedings.

"We do not have a position on the Aboriginal Reform Group of SA."