08 Jul KAP RENEWS PUSH FOR TITLE DEED OVERHAUL
Katter’s Australian Party Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter is recharging a five-point KAP policy which principally calls to address restrictive title deeds and allow Indigenous Queenslanders to build and own their own homes.
It comes as Gkuthaarn and Kukatj people in the Normanton region were granted freehold title over 155 hectares within 16,000 square kilometres of native title land, allowing them independence over housing and economic development.
Under native title, Indigenous people’s rights and interests in land held under traditional custom were recognised by law, with little opportunity to control access to land.
“In the KAP, we believe in ‘deeds, not words’, and will continue calling on the Governments to act with deeds for our First Australians to improve the quality of life, employment and health outcomes for Indigenous communities,” Mr Katter said.
He said the Indigenous Queenslanders who were granted freehold ownership were now hopeful of the growth of their communities and proud of what they could potentially achieve.
Mr Katter called on the Queensland Government to address convoluted and restrictive native title and land tenure laws, as well as provide Indigenous communities with adequate access to legal services to help navigate the process.
Addressing title deed issues to allow people to own their own home in communities like Doomadgee was one of the top priorities in the KAP’s five-point policy to improve outcomes for Indigenous Queenslanders, released in 2020.
The policy included: acting on youth crime by enacting Relocation Sentencing; improving the restrictive ‘Blue Card’ system to support more Indigenous Queenslanders into jobs; controlling exorbitant food costs in communities; and addressing the failings of Alcohol Management Plans.
It complemented the KAP’s Working with Children (Indigenous Communities) Amendment Bill (or ‘Blue Card Bill’), designed to support Indigenous people in accessing gainful employment and purpose, which was backed by communities and was currently being considered by the Queensland Legal Affairs and Safety Committee.
In May, Mr Katter met with the Napranum, Pormpuraaw and Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Councils, Napranum Local Justice Group and community members to discuss the Blue Card Bill.
“The community leaders I met with were enthusiastic about making changes to empower local people to work, boost their self-determination and make valuable contributions to their communities, and help solidify the family unit, which would go a long way in alleviating youth crime,” he said.
“Simplifying the process of achieving freehold ownership of land would add a powerful element of independence to enable Indigenous communities to prosper.”