In 2011, the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department commissioned researchers from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Studies (AIATSIS) to conduct research and analysis and make recommendations to inform the development of a Commonwealth policy on the assessment of native title ‘connection’ in consent determinations. This report presents the findings of the review.
‘Connection’ in this context means the factual basis for native title as defined in the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth). In essence, assessing ‘connection’ means being satisfied that the native title claimants do in fact hold rights and interests under their traditional laws and customs so that those rights can be legally recognised without the need for contested litigation.
Since the draft of this report was completed in 2012 there has been a change of government, in September 2013. Responsibility for the native title system remains with the Attorney-General, while responsibility for native title organisations has been centrally located with Indigenous programs in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. This report does not include an up-to-date review of emerging policy positions of the current government.
Strelein, LM, Duff, N & Bauman, T 2014, Commonwealth Native Title Connection Policy Research Project: final report, AIATSIS, Canberra, viewed [date], http://aiatsis.gov.au/publications/research-publications.