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‘It unnerved us’: John Howard admits he mishandled the High Court’s Wik decision

Former prime minister John Howard has admitted his government mishandled its response to the High Court’s Wik decision, saying it created the impression the government was “drifting” and…

  • Stephanie Peatling
  • The Sydney Morning Herald

In December 1996, the High Court upheld a decision in a case brought by the Wik and Thayorre people of Queensland against the Queensland government.

It decided that native title is not necessarily extinguished by the grant of a pastoral lease and that native title can co-exist with other interests in land.

It was the first test of native title across a large area of mainland Australia.

The High Court ruled that native title and…

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