Noel Pearson thanks Gough
Noel Pearson thanks Gough

'Don't use north plan to undermine Indigenous land rights'

INFLUENTIAL Cape York Indigenous representative Noel Pearson has warned that development of the north must not be used as a "Trojan Horse" to undermine Indigenous land rights.

The Federal Government has unveiled the northern Australia white paper, a blueprint for policy ideas to develop the sparsely populated region and capitalise on lucrative resources.

The white paper included a section on simplifying land arrangements and a commitment that Indigenous Australians should have the "same opportunities as other Australians to leverage their land assets and generate wealth".

It also said the Federal Government aimed to have all current native title claims finalised within a decade.

Mr Pearson - who attended the Cairns launch of the policy - said the white paper's reference to expediting native title claims was "certainly welcome".

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