Tasmania was a pioneer in aboriginal land rights

https://twitter.com/SadHappyAmazing/status/662133451286380545

The history of Australian aboriginals is sad enough without making up complete lies about their mistreatment. Their actual mistreatment was bad enough without making stuff up.

I sat on the Student Representative Council with a Tasmanian aboriginal. Stephen was one of the Maynards. Another prominent aboriginal family in Tasmania was the Mansells. This is despite the myth that the last Tasmanian aboriginal died in 1876. Michael Mansell was an excellent lawyer and a pragmatic advocate for his clients

In 1912, the Tasmanian Parliament passed a law recognising the land rights of Tasmanian aboriginals on Cape Barron Island. They were to be offered leases on land set aside for them. At the time they are itinerant mutton bird hunters.

That Act of Parliament created a reserve for them, listed them by name to ensure no doubt that they could apply for leases and prohibited the sale of alcohol to them to reduce alcoholism:

The Cape Barren Island Reserve Act 1912 provided that unless the residents of the Island constructed dwellings and fenced and cultivated land they would lose their right to occupy that land. It also stated that `in order to encourage the settlement of the half-castes in other parts of Tasmania outside the Reserve’ the Minister for Lands could authorise an applicant for a licence to occupy Crown land elsewhere in Tasmania… The subsequent Cape Barren Island Reserve Act 1945 was similar to the 1912 Act but it imposed more rigorous conditions on the lessees in return for a free land grant.

The 1912 Act also made an offer of 50 acres of land on the mainland of Tasmania to Cape Barren Island aboriginals. In common with the 1912 Act, The 1945 Act listed by name the Tasmanian aboriginals who were to benefit from the 99 year leases exactly where those leases were to remove any doubt or need for litigation:

The Tasmanian approach to aboriginal land rights stressed private property and the ability of each aboriginal to establish his own economic independence and make a living. Helen Hughes discussed the mainland solution which was communal rights, quoting a Palm Island resident:

The difference between a black man and a white man is this, when a white man dies his family gets his house. When a black man dies the government gets it.

The Tasmanian 1912 legislation provided for leases to be inherited by family members both through a will with specific provisions to deal with those who didn’t write a will to ensure the family still benefited:

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stephen Williams
    Nov 06, 2015 @ 09:53:34

    I once had a government job, during the training we had an aboriginal cultural officer talk to us. She believed this stuff and was paid by the gov to spread it. I did a blog post about it. http://justasuburbanboy.blogspot.com.au/2008/02/aborigines-have-special-psychic-powers.html

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Trackback: @jacindaardern wrong to say Australia is last place to follow in race relations | Utopia - you are standing in it!

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