NSWALC Consultations on ALRA Review 2012
NSWALC Consultations on ALRA Review 2012
February 14, 2012

As you are no doubt aware the State Government has announced a statutory review of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983.

The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Victor Dominello, announced Terms of Reference,and the composition of a working group, to conduct the review in a media statement issued in December.

The Minister's media statement is attached for reference.

The Government-appointed working group will conduct public consultations and call for submissions in the development of possible legislative reforms.

These consultations are expected to begin in April or early May.

The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council has endorsed a structure and process for NSWALC's participation in the Review.

Our own consultations with the land rights network, and other interested stakeholders, will be central to this process.

The media statement from Minister Dominello, and the broad Terms of Reference for the review, would indicate the new State Government has no particular agenda for this review.

The review has been initiated because it is required to be held at this time under the statutory provisions of the Act.

The Minister has asked for a report on findings and recommendations by November 1, 2012.

The NSWALC believes the Review must be used to ensure the legislation strengthens the rights of Aboriginal people throughout New South Wales.

It presents an important opportunity to strengthen the provisions of the Act from our point of view.

We need to receive your input on how you want the legislation improved to do that.

To this end we have scheduled a round of Regional Forums with LALC officer holders and members to begin in Broken Hill at the end of this month.

We are also developing a sub-site on the NSWALC website which will contain a host of documents relating to the review.

This will be launched shortly.

The schedule of NSWALC community consultations is also attached for reference.
We would urge as many LALC office holders and members to attend those
consultations as possible.

Participants will be asked to nominate two representatives from each Forum to join a NSWALC Roundtable.

The Roundtable will be asked to assist in the development of a final position paper to be sent to the State Government on how the Act can be strengthened to better serve the aspirations of our people.

Stephen Ryan,
Chairman