Native title and mining leases
Mike Ross says it is a fight he is willing to take down to the wire. As chairman of the Olkola Aboriginal Corporation in Cape York and the biggest non-government landholder in the region, he holds a vision for his people’s land that doesn’t involve mining.
But under Australia’s current Aboriginal land acts, Indigenous people have no legal right to say no to mining exploration on freehold land, meaning the only course open to them is to challenge each mining exploration licence through arduous court battles.
In a landmark case in the National Native Title Tribunal in March, the Olkola Aboriginal Corporation successfully objected to mining exploration permits being issued under “expedited procedure” in Queensland.