‘Racist’ land rights bill shelved by State Government
THE New South Wales Baird Government's controversial plans to stop Aboriginal groups making land rights claims over beaches has been shelved.
The plan, labelled 'racist' by the State Labor Opposition, was proposed after the Coffs Harbour Aboriginal Land Council this year made a successful claim over a stretch of beach between Corindi and Red Rock.
The bill introduced to State Parliament was set to be debated in the Upper House.
A backlash from Aboriginal Lands Councils, the Greens, the Christian Democratic Party and Labor, however, led to Natural Resources and Lands Minister Kevin Humphries announcing yesterday that debate on the Crown Lands bill would be postponed.
"The Government remains firmly committed to the notion that the state's beaches belong to every resident of New South Wales and should not be privitaised," Mr Humphries said.
With the minor parties and Labor vowing to oppose the government's moves, it was expected the bill would have been stalled in the Upper House where the Coalition government does not hold a majority.