Native Title

The TSRA

Program Overview: Native Title

Native Title Update

Objective

Description

Overview of the TSRA as a Native Title Representative Body

Support to Prescribed Bodies Corporate

Request a Review of a Native Title Representative Body Decision

Facilitation and Assistance Policy


Native Title Update

From 1 July 2022, Native Title services will be delivered by Gur A Baradharaw Kod Torres Strait Sea and Land Council (GBK). The TSRA will cease its Native Title services on 30 June 2022.

Click here to read the full release about the Native Title service transition


Objective

To be recognised as an organisation providing high quality and culturally appropriate professional services to Native Title Holders and claimants through consulting with and effectively assisting and representing Traditional Owners in the Torres Strait region in the performance of our functions under the Native Title Act 1993 (legislation.gov.au).

Description

The Native Title Office facilitates the securing of legal recognition of native title to land and waters in the Torres Strait, providing assistance for protection of native title rights in relation to all matters affecting Torres Strait land and waters and to assist Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs) and Traditional Owners with support and capacity initiatives.  The TSRA ceased providing day-to-day PBC support on 30 November 2021.

OVERVIEW OF THE TSRA AS A NATIVE TITLE REPRESENTATIVE BODY

This refers to the TSRA’s functions as a Native Title Representative Body (NTRB) under the Native Title Act 1993 (legislation.gov.au). NTRBs are primarily responsible for providing native title and related assistance to their constituents effectively and equitably. Constituents are those persons who hold or may hold native title in their area. On that basis, one of the guiding principles for the operations of NTRBs is their responsibility to act in the best interests of their constituents. The TSRA’s recognition period ends on 30 June 2022.

Legislative Functions of the TSRA in its NTRB Capacity

The legislative functions of NTRBs are set out in section 203B of the Native Title Act 1993 (legislation.gov.au) which states as follows:

A representative body has the following functions:

  1. The facilitation and assistance functions referred to in section 203BB;
  2. The certification functions referred to in section 203BE;
  3. The dispute resolution functions referred to in section 203BF;
  4. The notification functions referred to in section 203BG;
  5. The agreement making function referred to in section 203BH;
  6. The internal review functions referred to in section 203BI;
  7. The functions referred to in section 203BJ and such other functions as are conferred on representative bodies by this Act.

A representative body may only perform its facilitation and assistance functions if requested to do so.

GBK PROVIDING PRESCRIBED BODY CORPORATE (PBC) SUPPORT FOR THE TORRES STRAIT

The Native Title Office ceased providing day-to-day support to PBCs when Gur A Baradharaw Kod Torres Strait Sea and Land Council (GBK) secured a further two years’ funding from the National Indigenous Australians Agency to deliver PBC capacity building support in the Torres Strait region.In recognition of the successful GBK program, PBC feedback at the June 2021 Forum, and to minimise duplication of services, the TSRA made the decision to cease providing day-to-day PBC support on 30 November 2021.

GBK is now the one-stop service provider for all day-to-day PBC support including assisting PBCs to meet their legislated compliance obligations with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations.

Click here to read the full release about the PBC support transition

REQUEST A REVIEW OF  A NATIVE TITLE REPRESENTATIVE BODY DECISION

Decisions made by the TSRA with regard to the provision of facilitation and assistance under s 203BB of the Native Title Act 1993 (legislation.gov.au) are subject to review.

If a Native Title holder seeks a review of a decision they should, in the first instance, write to the TSRA's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) setting out their reasons for requesting the review and stating the alternate outcome they are seeking.  The request should be addressed to:

  • Chief Executive Officer
    Torres Strait Regional Authority
    PO Box 261
    Thursday Island QLD 4875
  • or may be sent by email to info@tsra.gov.au

The CEO may then initiate an Internal Review of the decision in accordance with s 203BI of the Native Title Act 1993 (legislation.gov.au).  The Internal Review process can be located here.

Subsequent to the Internal Review, if the Native Title holder is not satisfied with the outcome from the Internal Review they may request an External Review of the decision by writing to the CEO of the National Indigenous Australians Agency (niaa.gov.au).

The CEO may initiate an External Review in accordance with s 203FB of the Native Title Act 1993 (legislation.gov.au) .  The External Review process can be located here.

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