Important Changes to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act Section 66A – Secondary Employment Exception

20 April, 2023

The Aboriginal Land Rights Amendment Bill 2022 (Bill), came into force on 25 November 2022. The NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) previously provided a Guide for LALCs on changes to the ALRA, which is available at the NSWALC website here.

The information in this Network Message provides an overview on approved short-term work (Section 66A of the ALRA).

The new provisions in Section 66A provide an exception to circumstances (in Section 66(1)(j)) where a Board member or potential Board member would ordinarily be disqualified from holding office.

The intent of the new provisions is to empower Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) to make decisions about appropriate short-term work of Board members including circumstances such as the provision of Cultural Heritage advice and Welcome to Country ceremonies.

Section 66A details three broad areas of importance to fulfil when considering whether an exception to disqualification applies.

  • The work conducted by the Board member is work of a kind specified in a policy prepared in accordance with NSWALC directions and also approved by resolution of the LALC’s voting members.
  • Employment, consultancy or contract must also be approved by resolution of the LALC’s voting members or, if required by the approved work policy, the Board.
  • The policy may not specify certain areas as approved work. This includes the functions of the Chief Executive Officer of the LALC, or any work that is performed on a permanent basis.

NSWALC will provide further information in the near future on implementing these changes.

For further information, please contact the Strategy and Policy Unit on 02 9689 4444 or


We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of the lands where we work as well as across the lands we travel through. We also acknowledge our Elders past, present and emerging.

Artwork Credit: Craig Cromelin, from a painting he did titled, "4 favourite fishing holes". It is a snippet of his growing years on the Lachlan River, featuring yabby, turtle, fish and family.