Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Mabo Day marked by boost to native title

Joint Media Release with:

  • Robert McClelland MP, Attorney General

On the 17th anniversary of the historic Mabo judgement, Native Title Representative Bodies are set to receive $45.8 million in additional funding to help address the backlog in native title claims.

This extra funding, announced in the 2009-10 Budget, will build a more efficient native title system that focuses on achieving resolution through agreement-making rather than costly and protracted litigation.

Improving the native title process removes barriers to investment and infrastructure on Indigenous land, and provides the basis for economic and commercial opportunities.

The additional funding will improve the capacity of Native Title Representative Bodies to represent native title claimants and holders.

It will better equip the Representative Bodies to negotiate and is an important step in the Australian Government’s commitment to closing the gap.

A further $4.3 million will be allocated to improving claims resolution by working with State and Territory Governments to develop new approaches to the settlement of claims through negotiated agreements.

This year, the Government is the primary sponsor of the National Native Title Conference in Melbourne, Spirit of Country, Land, Water, Life, which the Attorney General will address on Friday.

The Conference provides an opportunity for people to exchange ideas and learn from the experiences of others.

Today, Australia commemorates the vision, determination and achievements of a man who drove the campaign to contest terra nullius – Eddie Koiki Mabo.

Koiki Mabo led the 10-year court battle culminating in the landmark judgement that acknowledged the world’s oldest continuing culture and its existence in this land long before European colonisation.

Koiki Mabo died in January 1992, five months before the High Court announced its historic judgement.