Native Title Organisations Review

Perhaps most significantly, over 220 native title determinations have now been made, and there has been an increase in the number of registered native title body corporate. These and other changes have implications for evolving needs of native title holders, making it timely to review the roles and functions of native title representative bodies and native title service providers.

Accordingly, the Australian Government has initiated a national Review to ensure that these organisations continue to meet the evolving needs of the system and are well positioned to respond to the native title needs of native title holders after claims have been resolved.

Deloitte Access Economics has been contracted by the Australian Government to undertake the Review and is being assisted in this task by a Reference Group, which has been established to provide comment and strategic direction. The Review Team is led by Dr Ric Simes and includes Bill Gray AM, Dr Jeff Harmer AO, Roland Breckwoldt and Deloitte staff. The Review will be conducted and concluded during calendar year of 2013.

In order to inform the Review’s finding, extensive public engagement will be undertaken. This public engagement will primarily be based on submissions made in response to a public discussion paper. This discussion paper will be launched at the National Native Title Conference in Alice Springs on 3-5 June 2013. The Review’s success will depend in a large part on the strength of submissions, making it essential that interested parties engage in this process.

Submissions can be made by:

Website: http://www.deloitteaccesseconomics.com.au/native+title+review

or  

Email: native.title@deloitte.com.au

or

Post: Attention: Native Title Review Team

PO Box N250

Grosvenor Place

SYDNEY, NSW, 1220

The call for submissions open on 3 June and closes on 30 September 2013. All submissions received (unless marked confidential) will be published on the Review website.

Deloitte Access Economics will hold consultations with PBC representatives throughout the Torres Strait region who are represented by the TSRA Native Title Office on Horn Island on Wednesday 10 July 2013. The TSRA will be in contact with each PBC in the region to invite two delegates from each PBC to attend the NTRB and PBC Forum to be held on Horn Island. The TSRA will fund the delegates to attend the forum.

The purpose of the native title organisations review is to:

“undertake a review of the role and statutory functions of NTRB and NTSPs in light of the changing environment and make recommendations on whether changes are required to ensure that the scope and quality of services to native title holders and claimants are appropriate”.   

The full Terms of Reference for the review is shown below.

Deloitte have released a discussion paper which can be found at www.deloitteaccesseconomics.com.au/native+title+review .

TERMS OF REFERENCE

The terms of reference for the native title representative body review are:

1. Examine the range of functions, both statutory and non-statutory currently performed by NTRBs and NTSPs;

2. Consider whether NTRBs and NTSPs could adopt a broader role in promoting and facilitating sustainable use of benefits flowing from agreements and settlement of claims;

3. Consider whether there is a continuing need for the recognition provisions in Part 11 of the Native Title Act, noting that 6 of the current 15 native title organisations are NTSPs and therefore outside of the recognition scheme;

4. Examine the scope for rationalisation of the numbers of NTRBs and NTSPs currently operating in the native title system;

5. Consider whether there should be legislative changes to NTRB and NTSP existing powers and functions to specifically to include assistance to RNTBCs, where appropriate, to attain the capacity to undertake their functions in the best interests of their members and the native title group and in accordance with their legislative and governance requirements (noting that not all RNTBCs require such assistance);

6. Consider the nature of that assistance, canvassing capacity building, and direct or indirect provision of financial, legal, and dispute resolution services;

7. Consider the current nature of services to native title holders and claimants by non-NTRB and NTSP based professionals, and the impact on the native title systems of these services;

8. Consider whether there should be legislative or regulatory changes to ensure the scope and quality of services to native title holders from non-NTRB and NTSP based professionals are appropriate;

9. Make other incidental recommendations relating to the future role and functions of NTRBs, NTSPs, and PBCs to facilitate effective support for native title holders and claimants.

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