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|Title:||Rations, Co-existence, and the Colonization of Aboriginal Labour in the South Australian Pastoral Industry, 1860-1911|
|Citation:||Property Rights in the Colonial Imagination and Experience: A Colloquium in Comparative Colonial Legal History, 22-24 February 2001, University of Victoria, British Columbia : pp. www 1|
|Publisher:||University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada|
|Conference Name:||Property Rights in the Colonial Imagination and Experience. Conference. (2001 : University of Victoria, BC, Canada)|
|Abstract:||The Wik decision (1996) of the High Court of Australia determined that Aboriginal rights on pastoral lands might ?co-exist? with the rights of pastoralists, with the rights of the latter prevailing to the extent of any inconsistency. This gave rise to an outcry by many pastoralists and their supporters who claimed, among other things, that the very idea of ?co-existence? was absurd. What the public debate glossed over, was the fact that in some parts of Australia Aboriginal rights on pastoral lands have been protected almost from the inception of pastoral leases themselves. In South Australia, for instance, extensive provisions protecting Aboriginal rights were incorporated in 14 year pastoral leases when they were introduced in 1851, and those rights continue to be recognised under statute today. The historical reality was "co-existence". What I argue in this paper is that Aboriginal rights on pastoral lands survived as they did, because they served the interests of both pastoralists and government. In combination with other factors, such as the distribution of government rations on pastoral properties, it ensured the pastoralist a cheap, and available, source of labour. For the government it was a cheap and effective form of administration. By allowing Aboriginal people to continue residing on pastoral lands, and giving de facto authority over them to local pastoral station managers, the government obviated the need for more elaborate and costly forms of administration, such as protectors and government reserves.|
|Appears in Collections:||History publications|
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