Gippsland › Latest news › Liberal Nationals

Farmers to be impacted if Albanese Labor government ends funding for legal advice in Native Title Respondent Scheme

The Nationals' David Littleproud warns of increased challenges for farmers if Labor abolishes Commonwealth-funded legal aid in native title claims, impacting fairness and support for both sides. Labor's move lacks practicality and unity.

By news@gippsland - 12th December 2023 - Back to News

Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Agriculture Minister David Littleproud has warned farmers face greater costs, more complexities and lengthy delays, if Labor's push to abolish Commonwealth-funded legal advice for landholders in native title claims is passed. The Native Title Respondent Scheme provided financial support to pastoralists and other landowners for native title claims. Established by the former Howard government, the scheme ensured both the claimant and respondent had fair and equal assistance to legal representation.

213A repeal lets Indigenous individuals access funding via Special Circumstances Scheme for involvement in native title issues

213A repeal lets Indigenous individuals access funding via Special Circumstances Scheme for involvement in native title issues

Scheme cut impact

While Labor axed the scheme in their previous Budget, cutting $6.4 million over four years and $1.8 million per year ongoing, it now also wants to remove the legislative basis for the scheme. "Labor's ideology doesn't match with the practical reality and the need to assist farmers and pastoralists when it comes to native title claims."

"The scheme allowed for legal costs to be reduced and proceedings streamlined, removing the need for numerous lawyers and parties involved, while also reducing the complexity of claims and time delays. To rip the scheme away will cost farmers money, time and effort. It will place an enormous burden on farmers and leave them very much alone in native title claims," Mr Littleproud said.

Native title repeal

Repealing section 213A of the Native Title Act will still allow Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to seek funding to support their involvement in native title matters under the Special Circumstances Scheme. It means the claimant would be able to seek to have their costs covered, while the respondent would have to self-fund their argument.

"This sort of them versus us mentality is un-Australian and unfair. Australians voted 'no' in the Referendum this year for a Voice to Parliament because they rejected the notion of division. Labor continues to seek to divide us, rather than unite all Australians. I call on Labor to use common sense and fairness when it comes to native title," says Mr Littleproud.

Pictures from Danny O'Brien MP Facebook page.


Published by:

Edit this news article

Baw Baw Bass Coast Cardinia East Gippsland Latrobe City South Gippsland Wellington
© 2001-2024 Print this page | Subscribe to Newsletter | Feedback / Inquiries | Login
Care has been taken in compiling the component parts of this website. However, does not warrant or represent that the website is free from errors or omissions, that the qualifications claimed by an advertiser are valid or that the published details of any advertiser are as stated on the website. Please review the full statement of our Terms and Conditions of Service and disclaimer.