Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land and Sea Future Fund Bill introduced into Parliament

  • The Coalition Government has introduced new Bills into Parliament to ensure the long-term sustainability of the new Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation which acquires and manages assets for Indigenous Australians, and allow this iconic Agency to invest in sea country and water assets.
  • Proposed reforms have been co-designed with communities following significant consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians across the country.

Fulfilling the promise of working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, the Coalition Government has today introduced new Bills into Parliament to ensure the financial sustainability of the Indigenous Land Corporation and allow it to unlock economic opportunities in sea and water country.

Reflecting the expanded functions of the Indigenous Land Corporation and in acknowledgment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians’ connection with sea country, the Bill also changes the name of this iconic agency to the ‘Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation’.

“We consulted with communities and are now moving to implement their recommendations to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation so that it can continue delivering for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians,” Minister Scullion said.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land and Sea Future Fund Bill will establish a new fund, to be comprised of the funds of the Land Account. It will be managed by the Future Fund Board of Guardians, a trusted and proven investor of public money and will ensure the long-term sustainability of this important Indigenous endowment fund.

To expand available economic opportunities for Indigenous Australians, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Amendment (Indigenous Land Corporation) Bill will expand the remit of the ILC’s functions to include sea and freshwater country.

“Our amendments will not only put the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation on a sustainable economic footing but will also bring existing legislation in line with traditional understandings of country, which do not distinguish between land and sea.

The new reforms will for the first time enable the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation to assist Indigenous Australians to obtain economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits from waters.

“We are working together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to develop new and innovative strategies to enhance economic and social well-being of communities, and contribute to the Closing the Gap agenda,” Minister Scullion said.

Background

The new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land and Sea Future Fund was announced by the Prime Minister and Minister Scullion on 12 February 2018.