A version of this Topical Issue was provided as a submission to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics Inquiry into Indigenous economic development in Queensland and review of the Wild Rivers (Environmental Management) Bill 2010. The paper discusses Indigenous economic development in the context of the proposed legislation, Indigenous property rights, and the Federal Government's draft Indigenous Economic Development Strategy.
It makes four recommendations:
Recommendation 1: Taken at face value, and as a matter of principle, the Wild Rivers Bill should be supported because it looks to empower Aboriginal land owners with an unprecedented form of property as a special measure for their advancement and protection. The Bill though should be extended beyond wild river areas to all parts of Australia as proposed by the Australian Greens in their draft Native Title Amendment (Reform) Bill 2011.
Recommendation 2: Some considerable effort should be invested in unpacking the diverse meanings of 'Indigenous economic development', giving high priority to garnering the perspectives of Indigenous people, who are all too often tre