This submission was made to the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The issues raised by AIATSIS are found in the following sections:
Part 1 - Regulation 1: Name of Regulations
The Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) requires that corporations operating as registered native title bodies corporate must have the words registered native title body corporate or the abbreviation RNTBC in their name. Currently within the native title sector the terms prescribed body corporate (PBC) and RNTBC are used interchangeably.
Part 2 - (Regulation 4) Schedule 1 – Item 5: PBC Membership
The Native Title Research Unit’s (NTRU) research project involving native title holders and their registered native title bodies corporate (RNTBCs) has highlighted the need for native title holders to be able to access expert advice and assistance to create sustainable governance structures and ensure native title holders can make informed decisions about how they will use and manage their land.
Part 3 - (Regulation 11) Schedule 1 – Item 12: Indigenous Land Corporation as default agent PBC
AIATSIS recommends that the threshold issue of native title holders being required to incorporate in order to have native title determined should be re-considered at some stage. However, it should be noted that a native title group has a legal personality under the common law. Currently the NTA does not allow for native title holders to hold and manage the title directly. See this section for more specific information here.
Part 4 - Regulation 20: Fees for Service
Confirming that RNTBCs may charge fees for service is an important element of the proposed changes to the Regulations. This issue is discussed in more detail and at length in this section.