The Native Title and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 (Cth) was introduced to the House of Representatives on 17 October 2019. The Bill largely reflects a previous Bill, which was introduced in February 2019 and lapsed as a result of the Federal election.

The Bill sets out to amend the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and, among other things, would:

  1. confirm the validity of section 31 agreements following the McGlade v Native Title Registrar [2017] FCAFC decision;
  2. give greater flexibility to native title groups to set their internal processes;
  3. streamline and improve native title claims resolution and agreement-making;
  4. allow historical extinguishment over areas of national and state park to be disregarded where parties agree;
  5. allow minor amendments to ILUAs without undertaking a new authorisation process;
  6. iinformation ncrease the transparency and accountability of RNTBCs; and
  7. create new pathways to address native title-related disputes arising following a native title determination.

The Bill has been referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for report by 28 February 2020.

Stay tuned for more as the Bill progresses and the potential impacts the amendments may have on councils.

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