27 September 2023

Gates open on Native Title review

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Community comments on proposed reforms to Australia’s native title system have been invited by the Attorney-General and Minister for Indigenous Affairs.

Exposure Drafts of the Native Title Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 and the Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate Legislation Amendment Regulations 2018 have been published.

The Ministers said the Exposure Drafts were developed following a consultation process undertaken earlier this year on an options paper for native title reform.

They said the consultation involved more than 40 stakeholder meetings across the country as well as technical assistance from an Expert Technical Advisory Group comprised of nominees from the National Native Title Council, National Native Title Tribunal, Government and industry.

There were more than 50 submissions received on the options paper.

The Ministers said the amendments contained in the Exposure Drafts were intended to improve the native title system for all parties by streamlining claims resolution and agreement‑making processes and supporting the capacity of native title claimants through greater flexibility around internal decision‑making.

They said they also aimed to increase the transparency and accountability of prescribed bodies corporate (the corporations set up to manage native title) to the native title holders and improve pathways for dispute resolution following a determination of native title.

A consultation paper setting out the policy objectives of the proposed reforms also provides detailed guidance on the amendments.

The 37-page consultation paper can be accessed at this PS News link and the Exposure Drafts can be accessed at this link.

Submissions close on 10 December.

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