Crown Lands Amendment (Multiple Land Use) Bill 2013 

September 23, 2013

As the Network was advised in the Network Message dated the 16 September (available here) the Crown Lands Amendment (Multiple Land Use) Bill 2013 (the Bill) was introduced into the NSW Parliament on the 12 September 2013. The Bill is the NSW Government's response to decisions made by the Courts about a land claim appeal known as 'Goomallee'. 

This Network Message seeks to inform the Network of the position of the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) regarding the Bill. 

NSWALC has considered the Bill and has adopted the following position: 

  • That the protection of Aboriginal land claims provided by the Bill should extend to the date of assent; 
  • That there must be safeguards to make sure that invalid licences that cause material harm to Crown Reserves are not validated; 
  • That the proposed ways of issuing and then subsequently correcting and validating new tenures over Crown land (the material harm test which is the subjective test conducted by the Minister and the ability to retrospectively correct and validate licences) are opposed; 
  • That the requirement to give the Minister six (6) months notice before challenging the validity of any tenure in Court is opposed. 

The Crown Lands Amendment Bill 2013 Fact Sheet provides further detail about the Bill, background to the Goomallee case, and the consequences of the Bill for existing and future Aboriginal land claims. 

NSWALC is urgently seeking a meeting with the NSW Premier to discuss the Bill. The Bill is currently due to be debated in the NSW Parliament in mid October 2013. 

LALCs are encouraged to contact their Local Member of Parliament if they wish to raise concerns about the Bill.

Please contact the NSWALC Legal Services Unit on 9689 4444 if you would like to discuss the Bill, or issues relating to the Bill, further.