Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Consultations on Native Title Agreements and Payments

Joint Media Release with:

  • Hon Bill Shorten MP, Assistant Treasurer

The Australian Government today announced the continuation of the national consultations on the tax treatment of native title and possible reforms to native title agreement processes.

The Native Title, Indigenous Economic Development and Tax discussion paper outlines the interaction between native title, Indigenous economic development and the income tax system and sets out possible reform approaches.

The paper also discusses how existing deductible gift recipient categories could be adapted to reflect the needs of Indigenous communities.

The Leading Practice Agreements: Maximising Outcomes from Native Title Benefits discussion paper canvasses reforms to ensure that native title agreements deliver the best possible outcomes for Indigenous people.

The paper also covers possible legislative amendments to streamline the processes for agreeing to development and other activity on native title land, as well as clarifying the meaning of ‘in good faith negotiations’ to encourage parties to engage in meaningful discussions about future acts under the right to negotiate provisions.

Consultations were held in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide earlier this year. Due to the caretaker period, public consultations were then suspended. The Government will continue the round of consultations in Perth, Darwin and Canberra from early November 2010.

The Government is committed to ensuring that benefits from native title agreements flow to current and future native title holders.

This requires a continued, concerted effort to ensure the millions of dollars flowing from resource projects to native title holders and claimants are used to strengthen sustainable economic and social development, and benefit future generations of native title holders.

To find out more about the public consultations, please visit the Attorney-General’s Department website.

Written submissions for both papers close on 30 November 2010.

Copies of the tax consultation paper can be found at the Treasury website. Copies of the native title agreements discussion paper can be found at the Attorney-General’s website and the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs website.