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Aboriginal Land Rights Amendment Act 2014 (NSW)

Category: Legislation
Binomial Name: State of New South Wales
Date: 1 July 2015
Sub Category:Legislation
State/Country:New South Wales, Australia
Subject Matter:Land Management | Land Settlement | Land Use
Summary Information:

The Aboriginal Land Rights Amendment Act 2015 (NSW) (the Act) introduced key reforms to the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW) (ALRA).

Section 252A of the ALRA requires that it be reviewed every five years. From 2011 to 2014, the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) worked with the NSW Government to develop a report outlining various recommendations for reform. These reforms primarily relate to land claims, housing and regulatory frameworks (NSWALC, 2015, p. 1) and 'aim to strengthen Aboriginal land councils by improving accountability, efficiency and economic capacity' (Victor Dominello, 2015, p. 1).

Detailed Information:

Section 36AA of the Act makes a significant amendment to the ALRA through the introduction of Aboriginal Land Agreements (ALA). ALAs facilitate the social, cultural and economic outcomes intended by the ALRA, in addition to the existing land claim mechanism under this legislation. This new provision allows for the flexible negotiation of multiple land claims, which speeds up the processing of claims made under s 36 of the ALRA (Paul Bertram, 2015). ALAs may also provide that Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALC) withdraw existing claims or not make new claims.

Other key amendments introduced by the Act include:

  • clarifying the function of LACLS to facilitate business enterprise, see s 52(5)(c);
  • increasing the term of office for LACL Boards to four years, see s 63; and
  • introducing a new misconduct framework to streamline the procedures for investigatory and disciplinary actions under the ALRA, see Division 3A.

The NSWALC has stated that it 'supports the majority of the[se] amendments' to the ALRA (2014). As of November 2020, ALAs throughout NSW were being negotiated through a 'Negotiation Framework' which the NSWALC and the NSW Government established in 2016 (State of NSW, Aboriginal Affairs NSW, 2020).

Related Entries

  • Wagonga Local Aboriginal Land Council v Attorney General of New South Wales [2020] FCA 1113
  • Organisation
  • New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council
  • Legislation
  • Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW)

  • References

    Paul Bertram (2015) Amending Act makes way for new negotiations over Aboriginal land agreements
    Fact Sheet
    New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (January 2015) Aboriginal Land Rights Amendment Act 2014
    Media Release
    State of NSW (2020) Administering the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983
    New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (2014) Aboriginal Land Rights Amendment Act 2014
    Parliamentary Paper
    Victor Dominello (21 October 2014) Aboriginal Land Rights Amendment Bill 2014


    Aboriginal Land Agreement (ALA)

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