Reforms to the native title system

Reforms to the native title system

Indigenous Affairs Land
Thursday, 01 November 2018

Native Title Policy, Land Branch (Housing, Land and Culture Division) and Attorney-General’s Department

An outback landscape, with low shrub and red earth.

The Australian Government has released exposure draft legislation to improve the native title system. Members of the public are encouraged to give their feedback on the proposed approach and make a submission.

The exposure drafts are informed by a consultation process undertaken earlier this year through the release of an options paper. The Government received over 50 submissions on the options paper and conducted over 40 stakeholder meetings across the country. An Expert Technical Advisory Group comprised of nominees from the National Native Title Council, National Native Title Tribunal, government and industry has provided technical assistance throughout the process.

The amendments respond to a series of independent reviews, and aim 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 to the native title holders of prescribed bodies corporate (the corporations set up to manage native title)
  • improving pathways for dispute resolution following a determination of native title
  • ensuring the validity of section 31 agreements (generally mining related) 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.

For more information, visit the Attorney General’s Department website.

Submissions close on 10 December 2018.