WA criticised on land rights


WA criticised on land rights

By Leon Harrison

PERTH — A University of Western Australia law professor, Richard Bartlett, has criticised the WA government's record on returning Aboriginal land as the worst in Australia.

He was speaking after the state and federal governments' formal response to the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody report on April 1.

Bartlett said that the commission had focussed on justice issues but needed to focus on Aboriginal peoples' right to traditional land.

WA was unique in that it had made no permanent land provisions to Aboriginal people on non-urban areas. While other states gave outright land ownership, the current Labor government has only given 99 year leases to Aboriginal communities.