2018-19 Budget: New Land and Sea Future Fund

Indigenous AffairsLandIndigenous Land Corporation
Tuesday, 08 May 2018
Publication author(s):
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Publication abstract:

Changes to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Account (Land Account) and to the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) in the 2018-19 Budget.

What was announced in the 2018 Budget?

This year’s Budget includes a new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land and Sea Future Fund which was announced by the Prime Minister, the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP during Closing the Gap Week 2018.

The new Fund will replace the $2 billion Land Account.

The new Fund will be managed by the Future Fund Board of Guardians (FFBG) which will ensure this critical Indigenous endowment fund is up to $1.5 billion better off over 20 years compared to current investment parameters.

The Government will also expand the functions of the Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) to include water rights, to bring the ILC in line with traditional understandings of country.

The ILC will be renamed the ‘Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation’ to reflect its expanded remit.

Three indigenous women walk along a bush track to the beach

The original Land Account was set up to assist those whose native title has been extinguished, by funding the ILC to acquire and manage country on behalf of Indigenous Australians. Its investment mandate has been overly restrictive which has limited its returns – meaning lost opportunities for the Indigenous Estate.

Key facts

  • Nationwide consultations found overwhelming support for these reforms to the Land Account and expanding of the remit of the ILC to water. The Government’s Bills were co-designed with, and supported by, the ILC Board.
  • The new Fund will be managed by FFBG who will decide how to invest its assets. The investment mandate will be determined by the Minister for Finance and the Treasurer, in consultation with the Minister for Indigenous Affairs and the FFBG.
  • Annual payments to the ILC will continue to be made by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs.
  • The original Land Account was set up with little regard for its long term sustainability and without these reforms this important Indigenous land acquisition fund will diminish and eventually be exhausted.
  • Expanding the ILC’s remit to include water rights will enable the ILC to support the full range of opportunities for Indigenous economic development in sectors such as fisheries, agriculture and tourism.

For more information about the 2018-19 Budget, visit the Australian Government Budget website. The new Land and Sea Future Fund was announced during Closing the Gap week on 12 February 2018.

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