• Head of the Indigenous Advisory Council, Warren Mundine
Warren Mundine has moved to reassure Northern Territory leaders that an Indigenous Advisory Council under Tony Abbott would not abolish the NT Aboriginal Land Rights Act.
Malarndirri McCarthy

27 Aug 2013 - 4:38 PM  UPDATED 28 Aug 2013 - 8:44 AM

On the 50th anniversary of the Bark Petitions, which began the struggle for land rights, traditional owners had questioned the protection of the act. But Mr Mundine today moved to reassure them. 

“In regard to the NT Land Rights Act, there's no conversation to look at changing that act or amending that act, or even reviewing that act,” Mr Mundine told NITV News.

“What I'll be doing is looking at that act and the 2006 changes that were made and see if those changes have actually created the activity that should have been created”.

 Mr Mundine has accepted an offer to sit down with traditional owners in the Northern Territory after the federal election to listen to their concerns.

“I'll be going up there… It's great to have that invitation and to sit down with the mob up there, get their views  and start looking at what needs to be done,” Mr Mundine said.

Last week, Central Land Council chair Maurie Ryan attacked Tony Abbott's plan to appoint Warren Mundine as the head of a prime ministerial Indigenous council if the Coalition wins the next election.

Mr Ryan told The Australian the members of the council found it “unacceptable that policy affecting them may be dictated by somebody who doesn't understand the issues affecting them”.

But the former National President of the ALP says shifting power back into Indigenous communities would be a priority for the upcoming council.