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Oxfam report notes WA native title woes

AAP logoAAP 26/09/2016 Rebecca Gredley

Native title rights are being undermined in Western Australia's Kimberley region, a global Oxfam report says.

The report refers to state government policies and actions including the controversial proposed closure of remote WA indigenous communities, the weakening of laws protecting sacred cultural sites and the undermining of successful carbon offset projects.

Oxfam Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People's Program manager Justin McCaul says the Kimberley is the only region in a highly developed nation represented in the report and in some ways Australia is less supportive of indigenous land rights than certain developing nations.

"The Kimberley case study is an example of the continuous struggle that Aboriginal people face to not only achieve native title but maintain those rights," he said on Monday.

"Strong land rights are vital for the development of economic opportunities for Aboriginal people in the Kimberley, which are key to ending inequality."

Kimberley Land Council chief executive Nolan Hunter said after almost four decades fighting for the recognition of land rights, discriminatory actions were preventing Aboriginal people fully exercising their rights.

"The real issue we are facing is that state land administration does not recognise native title," he said.

The Custodians of the Land, Defenders of Our Future report discusses the "global land rush" forcing millions of indigenous people from homelands around the world.

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