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Expedited procedure objections

​What is the expedited procedure?

The Expedited Procedure is a fast-tracking process for the grant of some tenements that are seen to have minimal impact on native title. If the government party believes the grant of a tenement invites the expedited procedure, this is stated in the notice and the right to negotiate will not apply.

Can anyone object to the expedited procedure?

A native title party can object to the grant of a tenement being fast-tracked once they receive a government notice (called a 'section 29 notice') of intention to do a future act, which asserts that the proposed act attracts the expedited procedure.
 
If a person or group thinks they hold native title on the area covered by a proposed future act, but do not have a registered claim or determination of native title, they can lodge a native title application within three months from the day specified in the notice. If the claim is registered at the end of the four month period following the notification day, the person or group may lodge their application to object to the expedited procedure also by the end of that four month period.

What to expect when an objection is made

Once an objection is lodged, the Tribunal will conduct an inquiry to determine whether the expedited procedure should apply to the tenement. If the parties wish to resolve the objection by agreement, the Tribunal will allow time for them to pursue an agreed outcome. If the parties wish to proceed with the inquiry, or the Tribunal is not satisfied with their progress towards an agreement in a timely manner, then the Tribunal will set directions for the inquiry. These directions require each party to provide submissions and evidence about whether the expedited procedure should apply to the tenement.  

Once the parties have had the opportunity to provide submissions, the Tribunal will make a determination about whether the expedited procedure applies. In making its determination, the Tribunal will consider whether the grant of the tenement is likely to:  
  • interfere directly with the community or social activities of the native title holders or claimants
  • interfere with areas or sites of particular significance to the native title holders or claimants
  • involve major disturbance to land or waters 

Most inquiries are conducted on the basis of the documents provided by the parties (‘on the papers’). If required, the Tribunal will hold an oral hearing or an ‘on country’ hearing on or near the area of the tenement.

Providing submissions and evidence to the NNTT for inquiry

During an inquiry, the Tribunal may direct each party to provide submissions or evidence about matters the Tribunal has to take into account when making its decision. 
Submissions may be provided by mail, in person or by email.
 
If you want to provide submissions or evidence but do not want the information to be disclosed to other people (for example, because it is culturally sensitive or commercial-in-confidence), you may ask the Tribunal to make Non-Disclosure Directions. 
Non-Disclosure Directions set out how parties are required to keep, use and dispose of sensitive information, and who may have access to it. This can include directions to use the information only for the purpose of the inquiry or that only individuals of a particular gender may view the information.  
 
For more information on how to apply for Non-Disclosure Directions, read the guidelines here and access a template for directions here.

How to apply

An application objecting to the expedited procedure must reach the Tribunal within four months of the notification date specified in the government notice.
 
Please read the Instructions on how to fill in the Form 4.
 
Fill in the application form, called a Form 4.
 
Send the Form 4 using the addresses in the instructions and, if applicable, an application fee to the NNTT.

Filing fees

The application fee is currently $818 per future act (e.g.. for an application relating to five tenements, you must pay five times that amount). It can be paid by cheque or electronic funds transfer.
 
If paying by cheque, please send this with your Form 4.
 
If paying by electronic funds transfer, please tell us that you wish to pay this way when you lodge your Form 4. We will then provide you with a file number within 24 hours. You will need to make your payment within 24 hours of receiving the file number. You will also need to complete a ‘Request Form – to pay the fee using EFT.'  Once you’ve made the transfer, send the completed fee form and proof of transfer to the NNTT.
 
A receipt of payment will be provided.

No fee payable

If one or more of the following circumstances applies, a filing fee will not need to be paid.
  • The applicant has been granted legal aid;
  • The applicant is assisted by a representative Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander body;
  • One or more of the people making the application:
    • holds a health care card or pensioner concession card;
    • is in prison;
    • is under 18 years old; or
    • receives ABSTUDY

 

The Native Title Registrar decides, based on evidence provided, that the fee would cause financial hardship and waives the fee. A fact sheet about how to apply for fee waiver is available.

If you are not required to pay a fee because one of these circumstances, you must provide proof when you lodge the Form 4 (e.g.. a photocopy of your health care card).

Refund of fee

If the application is not accepted or a determination is made in your favour, you are entitled to a fee refund. To request a fee refund, please fill in this form.