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Word Count: 584
In recent years increasing awareness of exploitation of indigenous culture and intellectual property has led to recognition of the need for more effective protection of indigenous rights in Australia Aborigines the indigenous people of Australia are severely disadvantaged in terms of poverty poor health over-representation in the prisons employment opportunity and housing There have been many reports inquires and decisions about the need for more effective protection for indigenous culture Although there has been relatively little progress in providing better protection a number of recent developments have increased momentumThe Mabo decision and Native Title Act 1993 established a basis for the recognition of the Aboriginal Peoples special attachments to Australia The judgment found that a native title to land existed in 1788 and may continue to exist provided it has not been extinguished by subsequent acts of government and provided Aborigines continue to observe their traditional laws and customs The Act has resulted in approximately forty-two percent of the territory becoming Aboriginal in perpetuity under inalienable freehold title The Act gives Aboriginal traditional owners certain controls over use of their land including a veto on mineral explorationAnother problem facing Aborigines is the quality of housing All Australians have a right as citizens to decent affordable housing and associated services-that is water power sewerage waste removal and other related services Responsibility for providing these things to Aboriginal Australians rests primarily with State Territory and Local Governments At the 1996 Census twenty-three percent of Indigenous people lived in public housing while ten percent lived in community housing There is a significant disparity between the living conditions and health status of many Aboriginal people and those of other Australians According to 1996 Census date 62 percent of Aborigine households include more than one family compared with 11 percent of other Australian households Overcrowding leads to faster deterioration of housing and exacerbates environmental health problems Sixty-four percent of Indigenous households are in rental accommodation compared with the overall Australian
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