Fred Chaney, who this week retired from the national Native Title Tribunal, spoke to Kerry O’Brian last night on the 7:30 Report about the problem with native title, in that only a quarter of the agreements actually deliver real benefits to communities.

You can still watch the entire interview from the 7:30 Report’s front page, but probably only until this time tomorrow, or you can read the transcript, which I assume will stay there permanently.

Chaney argues on several points against the typical way of approaching indigenous policy from the proverbial armchair in Canberra. He acknowledges that a single policy edict from Canberra designed to apply to all aboriginal communities just will not work.

the point is made with respect to native title, but I think it rings true of all facets of indigenous policy, from land and housing to health and education, and even to language and culture. The last two of which are pretty much neglected at all levels.

Once you try and do it by remote control, through visiting ministers visiting bureaucrats fly in, fly out – forget it.

Though I will say that at least Mal Brough flies in at all. I don’t think Ruddock had been to the bush in his entire time as minister.