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WA this week 10 years ago - Wik decision fall-out

WESTERN Australian premier Richard Court demanded that a definition of native title be written into the federal Native Title Act this week, 10 years ago. Pressure to rework the act is mounting on the prime minister, John Howard, in the wake of the High Court’s Wik decision, which ruled that native title could co-exist with pastoral leases. The ruling also suggested native title had to be determined on a case-by-case basis, which Mr Court said had only heightened the uncertainty. “You have to make some determination as to what native title is and what compensation has to be paid if native title is to be taken away,” he said. Mr Court is expected to propose the federal government widen the Native Title Act’s title validation provisions at the Council of Australian Governments meeting, a move that could increase the liability of both the states and the commonwealth to compensate native title holders. WA this week 10 years ago - French sailor saved off Perth ONE of the world’s toughest solo yacht races, the Vendee Globe claimed another victim this week, 10 years ago, when the yacht of Frenchman Raphael Dinelli sank in the southern Indian Ocean. Fortunately Mr Dinelli, an unofficial competitor, was saved by round-the-world British yachtsman Pete Goss, who risked his chances of race victory to respond to the distress call. Mr Goss took Mr Dinelli on board his own sloop the Aqua Quorum after finding him stranded in a life raft dropped by a Royal Australian Air Force plane from Perth. The Frenchman was an unofficial competitor because the organisers ruled he was not qualified enough to be accepted as an official entrant. Lying seventh among the 10 yachts still in the 20,000-mile voyage at the time of the rescue, Mr Goss was compensated for the time he lost in the event. The yachtsman had developed a close bond earlier in the race after Mr Dinelli helped Mr Goss by keeping in radio contact with him after his satellite fax machine broke down.

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