|Print this page|
Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
|Binomial Name:||Australian Commonwealth Government|
|Click this link to search this location with google maps|
|The Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth) made extensive amendments to the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) (the NTA). The amendments were made in response to the High Court's decision in the Wik case, which confirmed that native title rights and interests may exist over land which is or has been subject to a pastoral lease, and possibly also over some other forms of leasehold tenure.|
|In 1996, the High Court's decision in Wik Peoples v Queensland was handed down. The case dealt with the question of whether pastoral leases granted between 1910 and 1974 in Far North Queensland had the effect of extinguishing native title. A 4:3 majority of the judges decided that the grant of a pastoral lease did not confer exclusive possession, and that native title could therefore continue to exist - this has been called 'coexistence'. Where an inconsistency between the native title and non-native title rights occurs, the non-native title rights prevail. |
The NTA had not adequately dealt with the possibilities of native title existing over pastoral leases or of native title rights co-existing with other rights. Since the NTA had come into effect, governments had been taking action on pastoral leases that did not comply with the NTA. Wik raised the possibility that those acts could be invalid and showed that the 'freehold test' (the principle used to determine where proposed activities could be done without regard to native title) in relation to future acts was inappropriate. The Federal Government developed the Ten Point Plan, which became the basis for the amendments, to deal with these inadequacies of the NTA.
- included changes to the status of the National Native Title Tribunal (ss 61, 86B), handing some powers to the Federal Court;
- introduced the registration test for native title applications (ss 1190A-190D);
- broadened the confirmation provisions (div 2B) and validation provisions (div 2A, div 2AA);
- changed provisions for primary production activities (s 24), statutory access rights (div 3Q), compulsory acquisitions and the right to negotiate provisions (div 3 sub-div P);
- extended the agreement making abilities under the Act, replacing Section 21 Agreements with Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) (div 3 sub-divs B-E); and
- gave the States and Territories powers to validate 'intermediate period acts' and authorise 'previous exclusive possession acts'.
Was this useful? Click here to fill in the ATNS survey