Premier in Print

AFTER eight years of Native Title uncertainty, the Labor Party has once again voted out constructive attempts by the Western Australian Parliament to put a workable frame-work over leasehold lands.

By siding with the Democrats and voting in the Federal Senate to disallow the WA legislation for a workable native title system, they have shown they have no regard whatsoever for the State’s exploration and mining industry or the Aboriginal communities caught in an expensive litigation process.

The State legislation, which the Federal Attorney-General had already stated complied with the Federal legislation, was the opportunity to resolve the native title maze in WA.

It offered meaningful consultation with Aborigines regarding mining on leasehold land and we even proposed a five-year sunset clause on the legislation. We simply wanted it to be given a go. Our legislation was the chance to enable mining and explor-ation industry to move ahead with certainty and confidence.

Instead, we are left with the situation that has seen the exploration industry stifled with 10,000 mineral title claims log-jammed in this State and hundreds of geologists not working.

Under the existing native title regime, we’ve seen a serious decline in exploration in WA – there was a 32 per cent drop in activity last year and a 38 per cent drop the year before.

The Labor decision continues the pain for the State’s exploration and mining industry and for the whole of WA.

CRIMINALS be warned. That’s the message now that State Parliament has passed the Government’s legisl-ation dealing with home invasion.

The new law is part of the five-pronged crack down on crime the Government announced earlier this year and widens the right of people to defend themselves against home invasion.

It makes sure the law is on the side of the victim and recognises people who legitimately protect themselves from intruders who come into their homes should not be penalised.

It is up to the Labor Party to pass our Sentencing Matrix legislation in the Legislative Council so we can have a sentencing regime that reflects the crime.

THE benefits coming from closer working relationships between public and private sector organisations was highlighted last week in the Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management.

The awards give an insight into how the public sector has developed over recent years to meet the challenges of the reforms that have taken place.

Many of the entries outlined projects involving close co-operation with private sector businesses. The success of these partnerships was particularly apparent in the overall winning entry, the Land of Plenty initiative, an innovative and highly-successful United Kingdom promotion of Western Australian food products.

The promotion was developed by the Government of Western Australia European Office in partnership with the Department of Commerce and Trade and involved 54 private sector companies exhibiting at Selfridges in London and Manchester, three industry representative organisations and four government agencies.

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