Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Government welcomes reports on native title and Indigenous rights

The Gillard Government has welcomed the tabling of the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Annual Native Title and Social Justice Reports in Parliament today.

The Social Justice Report 2011 and the Native Title Report 2011 highlight the importance of ensuring Australia’s human rights and native title systems are operating effectively for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The reports were prepared by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, Mr Mick Gooda.

The Attorney-General, Robert McClelland and the Indigenous Affairs Minister, Jenny Macklin thanked Mr Gooda for the reports.

“I congratulate the Commissioner for his work in raising awareness of important issues affecting Indigenous communities, and thank him for his ongoing commitment to work with both Indigenous people and governments to develop practical solutions,” Mr McClelland said.

“The reports also provide valuable analysis which will help inform Government policy relating to native title, social justice and human rights for Indigenous communities.

“I am pleased to see the significant improvement in claims resolution since the 2009 native title reforms. The Government is committed to continually improving the native title system and to considering new and innovative approaches,” Mr McClelland said.

Both reports also explore the challenges of conflict amongst Indigenous people, communities and organisations.

Ms Macklin said the Government would continue to work with Indigenous people and communities, as part of its ongoing work to close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.

“The protection of vulnerable people, especially women and children, is a fundamental responsibility of Government,

“The Government will continue to work with Mr Gooda to ensure we are acting together to close the gap,” Ms Macklin said.