By Senator Malcolm Roberts

I spoke in support of Senator Hanson’s motion for an inquiry into Native Title.

The problem many of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders we speak to have continuously raised with us is that under Native Title the land is locked up and can’t benefit from it. That’s about half of Australia locked up under Native Title and held with the government. Is it any wonder the United Nations is so interested in Native Title?

The white and black aboriginal industry consists of lawyers, consultants, activists, academics, politicians and bureaucrats. They all claim to be ‘closing the gap’ between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders’ standard of living and other non aboriginal Australians. The fundamental flaw in this system is that those running the industry are parasitically living off the money that is given to the aboriginal communities. It is a self-perpetuating problem.

Every year the billions of taxpayers’ dollars poured into solving the problem is being syphoned off by the same individuals who “claim” to be helping. Very little of the money makes it through to those in need.

You may recall when the Western nations were called upon to donate to ease the famine in African nations, very little of that aid often didn’t make it past the greedy government bureaucrats. This is what’s going on in Australia now. The pressure to scale it up is significant, but it will only increase the size of the industry and make it worse. What is needed is a solution to the Native Title problem that’s locking up the land. A sunset clause in the Native Title act should also be included. We need accountability within the white and black aboriginal industry.

Autonomy and accountability is what the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are hungry for, yet they are being blocked by those who are living off the industry in the cities, both aboriginal and non-aboriginal.

It’s time to close the gap for good. We need this inquiry.