Victorian Native Title Settlement Framework
|4 June 2009
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|The Victorian Native Title Settlement Framework (‘The Framework’) was developed through the work of a steering committee formed specifically for this purpose. The committee developed a ‘package of recommendations’, forming a Framework, which was adopted by the Victorian Government (Land Justice Group). The Framework is an alternative procedure to the system that currently operates in Victoria to deal with native title claims (Attorney General Rob Hulls, Department of Justice, Land Justice Group, NNTT), and has been endorsed by the Victorian Cabinet. The Framework will have a focus on direct negotiation between Traditional Owners and the State, which will aim to eliminate the cost, delay and complexity associated with the current system in Victoria.
The Victorian Native Title Settlement Framework aims to provide Traditional Owners with the choice to negotiate directly with the State to settle native title claims, rather than having to go through the current system. In doing so, it looks to eliminate the delay and high cost that is currently experienced in settling native title claims in Victoria (Attorney General Rob Hulls, Department of Justice, Land Justice Group, NNTT).
It also aims to form stronger partnerships between the government and Indigenous Australians, provide better outcomes that are fair for both Traditional Owners and government parties, including increased economic opportunities and environmental and cultural protection. It aims to provide more access for Indigenous Victorians to their traditional lands and improve reconciliation by building partnerships with Indigenous Victorians (Steering Committee, Department of Justice).
Key Objectives and Principles
At this stage, final implementation of the Framework is subject to securing Commonwealth funding.
The Victorian government will now begin speaking with key stakeholders in the Framework to finalise a Strategic Claims Resolution Plan, to outline how the Framework will function. There are plans for the government to hold information sessions for industry bodies, local government and the broader community, and to provide further information to Traditional Owner groups.
Further, it is anticipated that implementing the Framework will require some amendments to the current Victorian legislation (Department of Justice).