The Attorney-General has primary responsibility for the Native Title Act 1993 except those parts administered by the Minister for Indigenous Affairs.
This department provides advice on the operation of the Act and native title policy nationally, and is responsible for native title reform.
There have been a number of key amendments to the Act to improve the operation of the native title system. Details of the current reforms are outlined below. Information on past reforms is available on the past native title consultations and reforms page.
Australian Law Reform Commission native title inquiry
On 3 August 2013, the Australian Law Reform Commission commenced an inquiry into specific areas of native title law. The commission is due to report by March 2015.. For information on the terms of reference for the inquiry (including consultation on the draft terms of reference), visit the Australian Law Reform Commission native title inquiry page.
For updates on the progress of the inquiry, visit the Australian Law Reform Commission website.
Native Title Organisations Review
In late 2012, the Australian Government commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to review the role and functions of native title representative bodies and native title service providers. This included considering how those organisations can continue to meet the evolving needs of the system, and particularly the needs of native title holders after claims have been resolved.
On 21 May 2014, the Australian Government released the final report of the review, Review of the roles and functions of Native Title Organisations.
A copy of the final report is available on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet website. The report and further information, including the terms of reference for the review, a public discussion paper and submissions made to the review, can also be found on the Deloitte Access Economics website.
Connection policy research project
This department commissioned the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies to research law, policy, practice, and stakeholder attitudes about the native title 'connection' test. The project drew on best practice emerging from alternative settlement processes.
This project will inform the government's future policies on connection when entering as a respondent party into consent determinations.
The report is currently being finalised.
More information, including the project Terms of Reference, is available on the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies' project website.