Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, today welcomed the passage through Parliament of legislation to achieve quicker, more flexible negotiated settlements of native title claims.
“By improving the efficiency and timeliness of mediation, the measures contained in the Bill will improve the operation of the native title system and the outcomes that can be achieved under it,” Mr McClelland said.
The Native Title Amendment Bill 2009 introduces targeted reforms to give the Federal Court control over the management of native title claims from start to finish, allowing opportunities for negotiated settlements to be more effectively identified and progressed.
Where parties are deadlocked or unable to reach common ground, the Court’s case management powers can be used to ensure that native title matters do not languish and are appropriately resolved.
The Bill will also:
- allow the Court to make consent orders about matters beyond native title that would assist with the negotiation of broader agreements;
- recognise the way Indigenous communities record traditional laws and customs; and
- streamline the recognition processes for native title representative bodies.
“While legislative reform is important, improvements in the native title system will also require a commitment from all parties to adjust their attitudes and expectations.”
The Rudd Government remains committed to ensure a more flexible, less legalistic native title approach that delivers practical outcomes, including opportunities for indigenous Australians and certainty for landholders and industry.
Media Contact: Adam Siddique 0407 473 630