Introduction of Land Dealing Amendments

Introduction of Land Dealing Amendments in State Parliament

The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Mr Paul Lynch, today introduced the long awaited Aboriginal Land Rights Amendment Bill 2009 into the NSW Legislative Assembly.

The legislation proposes to amend the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 to establish a new regime for land dealings to provide more transparency and reliability in the land dealings process for Local Aboriginal Land Councils, NSWALC and third parties.

Given the significance of the legislation to the land rights network I have attached to this network message a copy of the Minister's agreement-in-principle speech, the explanatory notes on the legislation, and media statements issued by the Minister and NSWALC.

All are self explanatory.

Given the significance of this legislation on the operations of LALCs I would ask that all be tabled at the next meeting of your Council.

As all of you would be aware these amendments flow from the last major review of the ALRA and complement the first round of amendments which came into operation in 2007.

The introduction of the legislation today follows the distribution of a Draft Exposure Bill at the recent NSWALC State Conference.

I am conscious of the fact that some LALC members have put the view that the circumstances which triggered the need for this legislation have changed and the new regime will produce an extra complexity in the land dealing process.

NSWALC's Governing Council is of the view that in the final analysis the legislation will provide, as Minister Lynch informed Parliament today, "clearer and more certain processes for Aboriginal land Councils to follow when they deal with, dispose of, or develop land."

"This," he added, "will reinforce the beneficial and remedial nature of the Act."

In closing Minister Lynch said the bill reflected the coming together of the rights agenda and the economic development agenda. NSWALC Governing Council agrees and looks forward to working with the network within a new land dealings regime to improve the economic and social outcomes for our people.

Debate on the bill was adjourned today and is expected to be resumed in State Parliament in September.

Bev Manton
Chairperson
NSWALC
June 25, 2009