Monday, 29 October 2018

Reforms to the native title system

Media release

Australians are invited to provide comment on exposure drafts of the Native Title Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 and the Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate Legislation Amendment Regulations 2018, released today by the Morrison Government.

The exposure drafts have been developed following a consultation process undertaken earlier this year on an options paper for native title reform, released last November.  That 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.

Interested parties are encouraged to provide give their feedback on the proposed amendments.

The amendments contained in the exposure drafts are intended to improve the native title system for all parties by:

  • streamlining claims resolution and agreement-making processes;
  • supporting the capacity of native title claimants through greater flexibility around internal decision‑making;
  • increasing the transparency and accountability of prescribed bodies corporate (the corporations set up to manage native title) to the native title holders;
  • improving pathways for dispute resolution following a determination of native title; and
  • ensuring the validity of section 31 agreements in light of the Full Federal Court of Australia's decision in McGlade v Native Title Registrar & Ors [2017] FCAFC 10.

A consultation paper sets out the policy objectives of the proposed reforms and provides detailed guidance on the amendments. This paper can be accessed here.

More information on the reforms process, including the exposure drafts, is available on the Attorney-General's Department website and on indigenous.gov.au.

Submissions close on 10 December 2018.