MP plans to curb fake Aboriginal art sales

Bob Katter has put forward a bill that will make it illegal to sell fake Aboriginal art. (AAP)

Independent MP Bob Katter has put forward a bill that will make it illegal to sell fake Aboriginal cultural items without permission from the community.

A federal independent MP wants to make it illegal to sell fake Aboriginal art, souvenirs and cultural items.

Bob Katter on Monday introduced to parliament a private bill he hopes will stop non-indigenous people - including foreigners - from exploiting and profiting from the "oldest culture on earth".

"Ninety per cent of the stuff being sold is rubbish, which our first Australians get nothing out of," he told the lower house.

"If there be one thing that first Australians be allowed to keep and own it is their own culture."

Mr Katter claimed up to 80 per cent of tourist shops and markets sold 'Aboriginal style' souvenirs, many of which were imported from overseas.

He demonstrated to MPs the difference in quality and sound between a pair of authentic Aboriginal clapping sticks and one made in Asia.

"I'm sick of buying for my kids clap sticks that don't clap, bullroarers that don't roar, boomerangs that don't come back and woomeras that won't mount a spear."

The Arts Law Centre of Australia, Indigenous Art Code and copyright agency Viscopy have all thrown their support for the proposed legislation.

It had been an issue of concern for the community for some time, they said in a joint statement.

"This is an opportunity to ensure that Indigenous communities and artists regain control of goods that bear their art, their culture, what belongs to them; that consumers are not misled; and that ethical businesses are recognised," Indigenous Art Code CEO Gabrielle Sullivan said.

Source AAP

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