Joint press release with Senator the Hon George Brandis QC Attorney-General
For the first time since 2009, the Commonwealth, state and territory ministers responsible for native title met to renew and reinvigorate discussions about the operation of the Native Title Act 1993. The meeting was co-hosted by the Commonwealth Attorney-General, and the Commonwealth Minister for Indigenous Affairs.
Ministers confirmed their commitment to work cooperatively on native title issues. Cooperation on native title issues between the Commonwealth, States and Territories will improve social, cultural and economic outcomes for indigenous people, landholders and local communities. Ministers discussed how Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments could work collaboratively, as jurisdictional partners, to improve efficiency in the system.
In this spirit, ministers discussed:
– challenges for the future acts regime;
– opportunities to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of claims resolution; and
– the role and future directions of native title organisations.
Ministers welcomed the sharp increase in the rate of determinations of native title claims over the past five years, which is a positive development for native title claimants, landholders and governments.
Commonwealth ministers agreed to consider improvements to the operation of the native title system as proposed by the states and Territories and agreed to work with state and territory ministers and stakeholders to identify broader reforms to the future acts regime that benefit all parties.
Ministers also discussed future directions for organisations negotiating native title on behalf of Indigenous people and corporations holding and managing native title. This included how to coordinate support between commonwealth and state and territory government and other possible measures to improve the native title corporations’ sustainability, independence and capacity to make the most effective use of their native title rights.
Ministers Brandis and Scullion acknowledged the significant role and experience of the states and Territories in adapting to the Native Title Act 1993, including the implementation of the Commonwealth native title system into their respective land administration regimes.
At the invitation of the Queensland Minister, the Hon Andrew Cripps, ministers agreed to meet again, in Queensland, in December 2014 to ensure that the momentum to improving the operation of the native title system is maintained and and progressing the initiatives discussed in Darwin today.
Download media release:
2014-08-15 – Joint Media Release – Native Title Ministers’ Meeting Communique.pdf