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Government may change native title laws to uphold ‘at-risk’ mining deals

Joshua Robertson reports in The Guardian (9.2.17) on the latest native title challenge to the Adani Carmichael coal mine project from traditional owners of Galiilee Basin land.

‘The Turnbull government is considering changing native title laws to uphold mining deals with traditional owners that have been thrown into doubt by a landmark federal court ruling.

‘But a lawyer for traditional owners fighting Adani’s Queensland Carmichael coalmine said claims that hundreds of projects are at risk were “a beat-up” to justify a push for legal changes aimed at nobbling his clients.

‘The Native Title Tribunal is reviewing existing Indigenous land use agreements (ILUAs) to see if they are affected by last week’s court ruling that struck down a deal involving the Noongar people of Western Australia.

‘The full bench of the federal court found the ILUA was not valid because not all of the Noongar’s native title claim representatives had signed it.

‘A spokesman for the federal attorney general, George Brandis, has told the Australian the government is considering possible amendments to the Native Title Act in response.’

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