On 5 August 2013, the final terms of reference1 for the ALRC’s inquiry into the Native Title Act were announced. Professor Lee Godden2 was appointed to lead the inquiry.

The first consultation paper is due to be released in late November 2013.

Working Group on Taxation of Native Title and Traditional Owner Benefits and Governance

On 3 August 2013 the Australian Government released the report3 from its Working Group on Taxation of Native Title and Traditional Owner Benefits and Governance and provided in-principle support for the Working Group’s recommendations including:

  • creating a new kind of not-for-profit body with income tax exempt status, called an Indigenous Community Development Corporation (ICDC)
  • regulating private agents involved in negotiating native title agreements
  • considering the following matters under the Review of the Roles and Functions of Native Title Organisations being conducted by Deloitte Access Economics
  • a statutory trust to hold native title benefits where there is no other appropriate entity to hold them
  • a process for the registration of section 31 (‘Right to Negotiate’) agreements
  • clarifying that benefits generated by native title agreements belong to the relevant native title claim group or native title holding group, and that a named applicant on a native title claim owes fiduciary duties to the broader native title claim group.