Connection to country: review of the Native Title Act

Wednesday, 17 June 2015
Robyn Gilbert

The Final Report of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Native Title Inquiry was placed before the Parliament in June 2015. During that Inquiry, the ALRC was told that there are significant problems with the “connection requirements” in the Native Title Act – connection requirements are those matters that a native title claimant must prove for the court to make a determination of native title. However, others told the Inquiry that the connection requirements are not posing a barrier to the recognition and protection of native title. The ALRC made a number of recommendations for change to the Native Title Act concerning connection requirements, the scope of native title rights (including whether a native title right to take resources can be used for commercial purposes), authorisation and joinder. This paper discusses the competing arguments and explains why the ALRC made those recommendations.