Navigate Up
Sign In

Native Title Legislation Amendment Act 2021


The Native Title Legislation Amendment Act 2021 came into effect on 25 March 2021, amending the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) (NTA) and the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cth) (CATSI Act).

The amendments aim to:

  • give greater flexibility to native title claim groups to set their internal processes;
  • streamline and improve native title claims resolution and agreement-making;
  • allow historical extinguishment over areas of national and state parks to be disregarded where the parties agree;
  • increase the transparency and accountability of Registered Native Title Bodies Corporate (RNTBCs); and
  • create new pathways to address native title-related disputes arising following a native title determination.

Specifically, some of the amendments provide for:

  • recording on the Register of Native Title Claims any conditions of the applicant’s authority (its role and duties)
  • conferring on the National Native Title Tribunal a new function to allow it to provide assistance to RNTBCs and common law holders of native title
  • amending the CATSI Act to improve the accountability, transparency and governance of RNTBCs, with a particular focus on membership and improved dispute resolution pathways
  • establishing a public record of s 31 agreements to be kept by the Native Title Registrar
  • changes to aspects of the registration of indigenous land use agreements
  • a RNTBC to bring a compensation application
  • a mechanism to assess the impact of the measures in the amendments on the operation of the native title system.

From the Tribunal’s perspective, the most important of these changes to the native title system is the post determination assistance the Tribunal will now be able to provide directly to common law holders and their corporations.

The National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) provides extensive information on the Changes to Native Title legislation affecting Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBCs).

The Tribunal’s website will be updated in due course to reflect the impact of the amendments on any Tribunal processes together with other relevant changes to assist parties.