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Parks and Reserves (Framework for the Future) Act 2003 (NT)
|Binomial Name:||Northern Territory Government|
|Location:||Northern Territory, Australia|
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|Subject Matter:||Collaboration / Partnership | Cultural Heritage | Economic Development | Environmental Heritage | Land Management | Land Transaction | Mining and Minerals | Native Title | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests | Native Title | Tourism | Management / Administration|
|The Parks and Reserves (Framework for the Future) Act 2003 (NT) is an 'Act to provide a framework for negotiations between the Territory and the traditional Aboriginal owners of certain parks and reserves for the establishment, maintenance and management of a comprehensive system of parks and reserves, and for related purposes' (long title).|
The Parks and Reserves (Framework for the Future) Bill was introduced to the Northern Territory Parliament in October 2003 following the High Court decision in Western Australia v Ward. This decision cast doubt on the establishment of National Parks in the Territory, and raised the prospect of successful yet protracted land claims in the future. The Parks and Reserves (Framework for the Future) Act 2003 (NT) (the 'Act') was passed late in 2003 and assented to in 2004. The Act came in to effect in 2004.
|The purpose of the Act is to 'provide a framework for negotiations between the Territory and the traditional Aboriginal owners of certain parks and reserves for the establishment, maintenance and management of a comprehensive system of parks and reserves' (section 3(1)). This means that the system should: |
(a) be developed in partnership between the Territory and the traditional Aboriginal owners;
(b) benefit traditional Aboriginal owners by recognising, valuing and incorporating indigenous culture, knowledge and decision making processes;
(c) protect biological diversity;
(d) serve the educational and recreational needs of Territorians and visitors alike; and
(e) enjoy widespread community support.
The Act includes provisions that change the status of land in the Northern Territory. This is to provide clarity following
Some Parks and Reserves currently under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (Cth) will be converted to Aboriginal freehold title. The traditional owners agree to lease this land back to the Territory for a term of 99 years, and agree to resolve native title in the Parks (Schedule 1).
A second collection of Parks and Reserves will be granted freehold title by the Territory. The traditional owners agree to lease this land back to the Territory for a term of 99 years, agree to withdraw land claims over the Park and agree to resolve native title in the Parks (Schedule 2).
A final selection of Parks and Reserves will maintain current tenure arrangements. They will, however, adopt joint management agreements (Schedule 3).
Additional land that is already owned by traditional owners is also to be incorporated into Parks and Reserves, and it too will be leased to the Territory for 99 years (Schedule 5).
The new arrangements do not affect current mining agreements, however those involved in joint management will have the opportunity to provide an opinion regarding mining or pertroleum interest to the Mines Minister. Similarly, future tourism iniaitives will be considered via the joint management system. Land rights of pastoralists are largely unaffected. The above land tenures may be amended to create Community Living Areas in the future.
Indigenous Land Use Agreements will be lodged for all Parks listed in the Act.
The new arrangements of joint management are legislated in the Territory Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act Amendment Act 2005.
Further information on the Act is available at http://www.nt.gov.au/dcm/parks/index.shtml
08/08/02 Western Australia v Ward handed down
08/10/03 Legislation introduced
26/11/03 Legislation passed
07/01/04 Legislation assented
15/04/04 Act commenced
The actions of the Chief Minister were only authorised if, amongst other things, the applicants listed in Schedules 2 and 3 withdrew claims under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (Cth). This had to be done by 30 June 2004. The agreement of one traditional owner group could not be secured by this time. To ensure that the entire package was not jeopardised, the Chief Minister proposed legislation allowing the Act to be revived. This Act extended the date of compliance to 1 February 2005 and allowed the Act to re-commence operation.
Parks and Reserves (Framework for the Future) Revival Act 2005
09/02/05 Legislation introduced
17/02/05 Legislation passed
04/03/05 Legislation assented
04/03/05 Act commenced
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