Groom to legislate against Mabo
By Dave Wright
HOBART — A campaign of fear and misinformation has begun in Tasmania, orchestrated by those hostile to the recent Mabo High Court decision. They include the Tasmanian Chamber of Mines, the Farmers and Graziers Association and the State Liberal Party.
Already several meetings have been held in the north-
west of the state, organised by anti-"native title" forces. This coincides with the recent claims for native title by the Aboriginal people at Wybalenna on Flinders Island.
Liberal Premier Ray Groom announced on July 22 that the government would vigorously oppose the claim in court. He also foreshadowed legislation that would counter the effects of Mabo, to be introduced possibly within the next month.
"In modern Tasmania I believe everyone should be treated fairly and equally and we shouldn't have two types of title for different people in the community", he said.
Michael Mansell, legal adviser with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, replied, "The Wybalenna claim is a call from the Aboriginal community on Flinders Island for some acknowledgment of the torment and hurt our people were subjected to last century in what could only be described as a concentration camp.
"Premier Ray Groom could simply have sat down with Aboriginal leader Glen Shaw and come to a sensible and simple settlement. Instead he is adamant Aborigines shall remain a landless people by using the powers of government to stop us at every move."