About 300 Aborigines threw rocks and bottles at police and stormed into the grounds of the New South Wales parliament yesterday to protest against changes to laws governing land rights. A police spokeswoman said that the protesters tore down a section of ornate iron fencing surrounding the legislature and broke into the grounds, clashing with a cordon of officers.

Riot police later pushed the crowd back onto the street, arresting 11 of the protesters.

``This is a minority group that feels its power base has been eroded,'' Nick Greiner, the state's premier, told reporters after the melee.

A spokesman for the premier's office said that the protesters were angry at a deal reached between the Aboriginal Land Council in Australia's most-populous state and its conservative government over changes in indigenous land-rights laws.

Aborigines had opposed the changes, but both the land council and the opposition Labor Party accepted them after a large number of amendments, the spokesman said.

Some Aborigines regard the deal as a sellout.

The new legislation was expected to be approved in the state's upper house last night.

Aborigines represent about two percent of Australia's 17 million population. -30-{et

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.