New Australian Law Reform Commission inquiries announced
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC today released draft terms of reference for the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) to inquire into:
- Native Title law – Twenty Years and Beyond; and
- Legal Barriers for People with Disabilities.
Native Title – Twenty Years and Beyond
“The Native Title Act turns twenty this year. The time has come to consider how to improve native title law and encourage faster, simpler resolution of native title claims for all parties,” Mr Dreyfus said.
“We must make sure that the law helps to unlock the economic potential of native title for Indigenous Australians.
“The draft terms of reference focus on proving connection to land and waters and authorisation, the laws which establish who can negotiate in particular circumstances. These are complex issues, which need detailed analysis and broad community consensus,” Mr Dreyfus said.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin said the Government would consult widely on the terms of reference and was open to adding new key issues to the Inquiry.
“We want to hear from Indigenous peoples, representative bodies, farmers, miners, pastoralists and environmental groups about the issues they want considered by the Australian Law Reform Commission,” Ms Macklin said.
Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism, Gary Gray also welcomed the inquiry.
“I would encourage all stakeholders, particularly those in the minerals and tourism industry, to have their views heard and make a submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission,” Minister Gray said.
Reducing Legal Barriers for People with Disabilities
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC said that he is asking the Australian Law Reform Commission to inquire into how to reduce legal barriers to people with disabilities.
“I want to make sure that existing Commonwealth laws and legal frameworks do not create barriers to people with disability exercising their rights and legal capacity,” Mr Dreyfus said.
“Most of us take for granted the independent decisions we make about our lives. People with disability deserve the same opportunity.
“This inquiry is about maximising choice and autonomy for Australians with disability.”
Minister for Disability Reform Jenny Macklin said that people with disability are entitled to the dignity that comes from being able to make choices over their own lives.
“Ensuring that people with disability have access to the same rights and opportunities as Australians without disability is a hallmark of a just society,” Ms Macklin said.
“As we celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act, it is fitting that we consider whether our laws are adequately supporting people with disability.
“The announcement of this inquiry coincides with the upcoming launch of DisabilityCare Australia, the national disability insurance scheme, a significant reform that will transform the way people with disability are supported and put choice and control in the hands of people with disability.”
The Government encouraged stakeholders to provide feedback on the scope of both inquiries.
Draft terms of reference for the rights of people with disability inquiry have been released for public consultation at www.ag.gov.au/RightsAndProtections/HumanRights. Submissions can be lodged at firstname.lastname@example.org until 28 June 2013.