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Australian Law Reform Commission to inquire into future acts regime in the Native Title Act 1993

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Media Release

The Australian Government has today taken a key step towards improving the operation of the native title system by asking the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) to undertake an inquiry into the future acts regime in the Native Title Act 1993.

The ALRC review will investigate any inequality, unfairness or weaknesses in the regime, which governs how development projects can occur on land subject to native title.

The review fulfils the Government’s commitment in response to the Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia’s report on the destruction of Juukan Gorge, A Way Forward.

As announced in the Budget, supplementary funding of $550,000 has been provided to enable the ALRC to engage closely with regional, remote and very remote stakeholders in the review. This funding forms part of the Government’s $20.8 million 2024-25 Budget measure to improve the native title system.

With native title recognised over nearly half of Australia’s landmass the fair and efficient operation of the regime is essential if we are to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people maintain a distinctive cultural, spiritual, physical and economic relationship with their land and waters.

I look forward to the ALRC’s detailed consideration of these issues, and to the contributions that native title groups, project proponents and others with an interest in the native title system will make to this important inquiry. 

Information about the inquiry, including the terms of reference, is available on the Australian Law Reform Commission website.