Amendments to the Native Title Act
Key action: The Native Title Amendment Bill 2012 will be re-introduced in the next term of Government
The Native Title Act must deliver on its initial intent to provide meaningful rights and a basis for economic and community development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People. The Government should continue to engage with and review the operation of the Native Title Act to ensure that this intent is upheld and that native title outcomes are leveraged.
Native title provides certainty to developers and all land users, it streamlines the process by reducing the amount of red tape and regulations and gives them certainty that they are dealing with the right Traditional Owners for that area. Traditional Owners do not intend to stop development, but want to ensure that their country and culture is protected.
The Native Title Amendment Bill 2012 provided for a range of amendments to the Native Title Act and was introduced in to Parliament with broad support from a range of stakeholders. The NNTC fully supports the proposed amendments, and believes the Bill sets out certain provisions that the NNTC has been advocating for over several years.
The proposed amendments align with the Commonwealth’s native title strategy with a particular focus on improving agreement-making, encouraging flexibility in claim resolution, promoting sustainable outcomes and fostering economic participation and employment. The NNTC believes that the Amendment Bill will go some way towards achieving fundamental change in the system for the benefit of Traditional Owners and should be introduced into Parliament as a matter of priority.