Senate debates

Thursday, 3 December 2020


Native Title Amendment (Infrastructure and Public Facilities) Bill 2020; Second Reading

11:43 am

Photo of Lidia ThorpeLidia Thorpe (Victoria, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to continue my speech on the Native Title Amendment (Infrastructure and Public Facilities) Bill 2020. The Greens will be moving amendments to this bill. Instead of extending the operation of section 24JAA by another 10 years, as the government has proposed, we are proposing to extend it by only one more year instead. In our view, the minister has not made the case for why a 10-year extension is required. Remember that this isn't just about building public homes. The government could also build police stations in communities that are already overtargeted by police and apparently do this for their benefit. I know from personal experience that, for our people, having police as first responders is often not helpful but harmful, and sometimes lethal.

If the government were serious about negotiating with traditional owners or even just negotiating in good faith, they would be properly funding prescribed bodies corporate. They would also be properly funding native title claimants to properly negotiate on an equal footing with the government, as well as funding them to develop community-led land use plans over their country. Most importantly, they would be bending over backwards, just like they do for their big corporate mates, to protect our heritage. Every time the Minerals Council comes knocking on these doors, the government get themselves tied up in knots and do whatever it wants. If only they listened to—

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Order! Thank you for your flexibility, Senator Thorpe. You will be in continuation when debate resumes. We will now move on to petitions.