Native Title Act Review
The Australian Law Reform Commission is currently undertaking a review of the Native Title Act 1993, releasing an Issues Paper in March 2014.
The review focusses on connection requirements relating to the recognition and scope of native title rights and interests, and any barriers imposed by the Act’s authorisation and joinder provisions to claimants’, potential claimants’ and respondents’ access to justice. SACOME has participated in a response to this paper and expects to consult further prior to the Commission submitting its final report early in 2015.
Aboriginal Heritage Act Review
March 2016: Amendments to the Aboriginal Heritage Act have been introduced into State Parliament. SACOME has long pushed for improvements to the Act and we support the changes as they provide improved complementarity with the native title system. The repeal of the requirement for the Minister to delegate to traditional owners his functions to give authorisations under the Act is particularly welcome. The amendments have passed the Legislative Council and transferred to the House of Assembly, where the bill is expected to be passed.
Following the release of a draft bill in September 2013, SACOME prepared a submission upon consultation with members to the Department of Premier and Cabinet. The draft bill remains with Cabinet for consideration pending a decision on next steps.
Aboriginal Lands Trust Review
The Aboriginal Lands Trust Bill 2013 was introduced into Parliament in September 2013 unamended by the consultation. SACOME has made and continues to make representations to the Legislative Council ALT Bill committee and the Opposition regarding the unaddressed concerns of the industry detailed in the original submission. The new legislation has now passed with the Aboriginal Lands Trust Act 2013 commending operation in mid-2014.