Chairman of Indigenous Business Australia (IBA), Mr Joseph Elu, has challenged participants at the Native Title Conference in Cairns not to focus solely on negotiating access to native title lands but to also consider the means where Indigenous Australians can provide for the future by way of sustainable economic development.
He stressed the importance of exploring new economic horizons to make use of land for the prosperity of future generations. Mr Elu stated he was ‘concerned that there seems to be limited connection between regaining land rights and the ability to develop lands for the benefit of our children and our grandchildren and, when compared to Indigenous Canadians, Americans or New Zealanders, we are well behind.’
He continued, ‘It often distresses me when I see opportunities being ignored or when the communities are not even told of the opportunities available to them. I don’t believe that our future is dependant on what governments hand out to our people.’