Warren Truss
Warren Truss

Title claims 'clogging development'

NATIONAL Party federal leader Warren Truss says his "red, green and black tape" comments in parliament last week referred to ambit, multiple, over-lapping and conflicting native title claims that were clogging up the development pipeline in regional Australia

Mr Truss' controversial statement came during National Reconciliation Week, on the 20th anniversary of the Mabo court decision which led to native title being granted to indigenous Australians.

"These processes take years - sometimes decades - putting entire projects at risk and leaving regional communities relying on those projects to twist in the wind," Mr Truss, the Federal Member for Wide Bay, said.

"There has to be a better way of dealing with project approvals and restoring investor faith in Australia," he said.

Manager of Government Business in the House, Anthony Albanese, attacked his comments on Sunday, declaring: "Is there no convention, tradition, institution or national occasion that they (the Coalition) won't play politics with - or worse still, trash in their naked pursuit of power?"

"The issues are not all vexatious, but delays and constant taxation and other rule changes add to Australia's mounting sovereign risk," Mr Truss said.

"We should not shy away from discussion or debate about job-creating investment just because the politically correct brigade swoon.

"I'd hoped we, as a nation, were past finger-pointing and the shrill cry of racist to be prepared to intelligently look at how things can be done better in the future.

"Indigenous Australians and their interests are part of what must be addressed in confronting investment and development opportunities across vast areas of this country.

"We need people who will deal with issues on their merits and as grown-ups, not more finger-pointing, mock offence and martyrdom from the likes of Anthony Albanese.

"I think there is more that brings Australians together than divides us.

"That's what people have wanted for generations in the past - for indigenous Australians to be treated fairly and equally.

"And, in that spirit, let's deal with the issues like grown-ups.

"Native Title is only one of the numerous delays and blockages to investment and prosperity our country is facing."

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