Reforms to the native title system
The native title system has evolved significantly since the High Court’s landmark Mabo v Queensland [No 2] decision and the enactment of the Commonwealth’s Native Title Act 1993. Today, native title corporations manage native title over approximately 36 per cent of Australia’s land mass (as at 17 October 2018) and there are also more native title determinations than claims in the system.
The Australian Government has developed a package of native title reforms to improve the system and ensure it continues to appropriately support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as non-Indigenous stakeholders, in their dealings with native title land and water. Exposure draft legislation has been released, along with a public consultation paper and fact sheets to provide guidance on the amendments. The Government would like to hear from members of the public, including traditional owners and other interested stakeholders, on the proposed approach to implementing the reforms.
The exposure drafts are informed by a series of independent reviews and a consultation process undertaken earlier this year. The Government received over 50 submissions on an 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.
Submissions are open until 10 December 2018.