The Wik, the law & the land (A)

Australia, 1997

TV show
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Episode of Series “Four corners (Television program)”.
The Labor Government’s Native Title Bill was passed in December 1993, acknowledging the entitlement of the Aboriginal people, in accordance with their laws and customs, to their traditional lands. The High Court’s Wik decision in 1996 removed long held assumptions about land tenure in Australia and created uncertainty in the minds of pastoralists and miners. Aboriginal groups however, believed that the decision would have little impact and that the farmers were generally over-reacting. Co-existence in the form of upgraded land tenure for the pastoralists and traditional access to the land for the Aborigines could lead to long-term stability - at least that was the aim of the Cape York Agreement. The Federal Government under the leadership of John Howard, found itself coming increasingly under pressure from the National Farmers Federation to nullify the High Court’s judgement and extinguish native title. This program examines the issues. Reporter: Murray McLaughlin.

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Rebecca Latham

production company

Australian Broadcasting Corporation



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Four corners (Television program)


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Subject categories

Aboriginal Australia → Aboriginal Australians - Civil rights

Aboriginal Australia → Aboriginal Australians - Government relations

Aboriginal Australia → Aboriginal Australians - Land tenure

Aboriginal Australia → Native title (Australia)

Aboriginal Australia → Wik-Munkan (Australian people) - Land tenure


Documentary → Documentary films - Australia

Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Religion & Sociology → Aboriginal Australians - Government relations

Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Religion & Sociology → Aboriginal Australians - Politics and government

Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Religion & Sociology → Australia - Politics and government

Economics, Philosophy, Politics, Religion & Sociology → Native title (Australia)

History → Aboriginal Australians - History

History → Australia - History - 20th century

History → History


Television → Television series

Television → Television series → Television series - Australia






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