AIATSIS comments relate only to Schedule 1–Amendments for the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) and the Federal Court of Australia (FCA).
The main points are:
- The proposed amendments to the Bill do not transfer all native title mediation functions to the FCA. NTRB dispute resolution functions primarily involve assisting with the resolution of intra-Indigenous disputes within and between native title claim groups.
- Under the proposed amendments, NTRBs are liable to pay FCA for any services provided under those agreements. The current legislation also imposes this liability but directs payments to the NNTT.
- As NTRBs struggle to perform their statutory functions due to chronic underfunding, it is appropriate to remove any requirement that NTRBs are liable to pay either the FCA or the NNTT for assistance with performing dispute resolution functions.