“Expert Group Appointed to Indigenous Land Inquiry” Minister for Indigenous Affairs

Media Release
Minister for Indigenous Affairs
Senator the Hon. Nigel Scullion
Leader of the Nationals in the Senate Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory

Friday 20 February 2015

Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, who is leading a Council of Australian Governments (COAG) investigation into Indigenous land administration and use, has invited an Expert Indigenous Working Group to guide the work of the inquiry.

Minister Scullion said the group will work with the Commonwealth, state and territory governments on the Investigation and ensure that policy directions and proposals are developed with the involvement of Indigenous stakeholders.

“The Expert Indigenous Working Group will be chaired by Mr Wayne Bergmann who brings with him a wealth of experience in native title and economic development,” Minister Scullion said.

“The Group will also include Mr Brian Wyatt, Ms Valerie Cooms, Mr Murrandoo Yanner, Ms Shirley McPherson, Mr Djawa Yunupingu and Mr Craig Cromelin.

“Together they will be drawing on their expertise and knowledge throughout this investigation of Indigenous land administration and use.
“I also welcome ideas from all Indigenous stakeholders to support this work and the Group will also meet with Indigenous stakeholders as part of their consultations.”

Minister Scullion said the investigation will focus all governments’ attention on getting the settings right to support Indigenous land owners and native title holders to leverage their land assets for economic development as part of the mainstream economy.

“Indigenous land and native title is a foundation for Indigenous economic development,” he said.

“This investigation will consider what action is needed to ensure the land administration system assists Indigenous land owners and native title holders to use land to pursue their social, cultural and economic aspirations.”

“I have asked the Working Group to focus on opportunities to improve land administration under existing legislative arrangements and I maintain my commitment to not change the Northern Territory Land Rights Act unless supported by the Land Councils.”

The investigation terms of reference for the Investigation, and information about the Expert Indigenous Working Group, can be found at https://www.dpmc.gov.au/indigenous- affairs/about/jobs-land-and-economy-programme/coag-land-investigation.

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(link to terms of reference did not work for me. Have reported problem. Songlines)