...an appalling racism...
'The debate surrounding native title I consider to have revealed an appalling racism and ignorance and prejudice amongst many high ranking politicians and bureaucrats and industry leaders and journalists who should have known a lot better. Politicians like Jeff Kennett saying that our suburban backyards were at risk. Aboriginals were supposed to be able to claim suburban backyards. Absolute nonsense, patent nonsense under the Mabo judgment and the Native Title Act. A real tragedy following Mabo was that the country was unable to elevate themselves with the High Court, into a new level of debate. To set aside past prejudices. They were only led to understand the crises, economic and social and political crises that some politicians suggested were triggered by Mabo. Now that was a failure of national leadership of a profound nature.'
Keywords: High Court of Australia, Kennett, Jeff, Keon-Cohen, Bryan, Mabo Case, Native Title Act (1993), racism, WA v Commonwealth, 1992-
Interviewed by Trevor Graham, 1996.
Author: Strelein, Lisa
© Film Australia
Source: Keon-Cohen, Bryan