Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 1 - Introduction


1.1        On 29 March 2007, the Senate referred the provisions of the Native Title Amendment (Technical Amendments) Bill 2007 (the Bill) to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, for inquiry and report by 8 May 2007.

1.2        The Bill amends the Native Title Act 1993, and will implement reforms to certain aspects of the native title system. The proposed reforms were originally announced in September 2005 by the Attorney-General. The Attorney-General identified six connected elements of reform:

1.3        The first tranche of legislation to implement the reforms identified by the Attorney-General — the Native Title Amendment Bill 2006 — was passed, with amendments, by the parliament on 28 March 2007.[3] This legislation was also referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee for inquiry. The report of the committee on the first tranche of legislation was presented on 23 February 2007.[4]

Purpose of the Bill

1.4        The Bill proposes a large number of technical and minor amendments to the Native Title Act, and contains over 40 different measures.[5] The Bill focuses on changes to the Native Title Act in the following areas:

Conduct of the inquiry

1.5        The committee advertised the inquiry in The Australian newspaper on 4 April, 18 April and 2 May 2007. Submissions were invited by 20 April 2007. Details of the inquiry, the Bill and associated documents were placed on the committee's website. The committee also wrote to over 60 organisations and individuals.

1.6        The committee received 12 submissions which are listed at Appendix 1. Submissions were placed on the committee's website for ease of access by the public. The committee held a public hearing in Adelaide on 2 May 2007.


1.7        The committee thanks those organisations and individuals who made submissions and gave evidence at the public hearing.

Note of references

1.8        References in this report are to individual submissions as received by the committee, not to a bound volume, References to the committee Hansard are to the proof Hansard: page numbers may vary between the proof and the official Hansard transcript.

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