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He convinced my predecessor, the then Attorney-General, the Honourable Trevor Griffin, to obtain Cabinet backing and funding for the initiative. I acknowledge the former Attorney’s wisdom in accepting this advice and putting it into effect. He talked to the representative body in South Australia, the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement (A.L.R.M.) and other peak bodies, including the South Australian Farmers Federation (SAFF) and the Chamber of Mines and Energy (SACOME) and persuaded them to participate in the process.

Eight years after the Solicitor-General first formulated the concept of “area agreements”, the other parties in the native title cauldron are arriving at the conclusion he reached then; that it is counterproductive to litigate cases about native title. The matters in issue in such cases are much better resolved by agreement rather than litigation.

The policy was adopted by the incoming Labor Government in 2002 and has developed since that time into an influential forum known as “the Main-table” at which sit representatives of the Government, A.L.R.M., SAFF, SACOME, the commercial fishing industry and the Local Government Association (L.G.A.). The Main-table has developed template agreements and manages ILUA negotiations across the State.

A great deal of work has been done, particularly by the Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement, to build the capacity of native title claim groups to participate. The building of capacity and relationships

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