Concern at hasty land act changes

Interview by Geoff Vivian for Ngaarda Media

Traditional Owners say a last minute extension to consultation on changes to the WA Government’s Land Administration Act looks like “too little too late”.

The amendments allow for ‘diversification leases’, to facilitate renewable energy projects on pastoral leases.

After a six-week public feedback period, the State extended the feedback date an additional week to August 19.

Ngadju and Mirning Elder Les Schultz said he is concerned these changes will be railroaded through.

He said he’s seen “very little consultation with First Nations across Western Australia in general.”

“We’re seeing lots of questions rising up from different people across the state, [there’s] the fear of the unknown. I think the government’s thinking wholly and solely of big business, big end of town.”

Mr Schulz said he was concerned that Crown Land other than on pastoral leases might also be taken up under the proposed amendments.

“From what I understand it is about other crown land too, which is Aboriginal land in my eyes,” Mr Schulz said.

We’re concerned because the ones who haven’t got native title aren’t being consulted, and yet it’s their heritage that’s at risk too. We’re talking about big business, they’re going to have large swathes of land, and potentially they could just take it all with the stroke of a pen.”

Listen to interview here.

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