About the Aboriginal Lands Act
The Aboriginal Lands Act 1970 (Act) was created in response to the Lake Tyers and Framlingham Aboriginal communities’ struggle for land rights. The Act granted freehold title over two former Victorian mission sites, Framlingham and Lake Tyers, to the residents of each community.
People living at Framlingham and Lake Tyers on a day specified in the Act were gazetted as members of either the Framlingham or Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trusts and were then allocated shares. The Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and First Peoples - State Relations are responsible for the administration of the Act.
Review of the Act
The Review aims to support improved governance and to advance self-determination for the Aboriginal owners of the Lake Tyers and Framlingham Aboriginal communities.
The Act is now over fifty years old. Although the Act has had several amendments, it's been found that the Act:
- has not kept pace with current laws, changes in attitudes and policy governing Aboriginal affairs in Victoria
- won't meet the communities' future needs
In 2017, the Victorian Government published a Discussion Paper outlining its intention to undertake a review of the Act. The Victorian Government hopes that the outcomes of this Review will build stronger governance, progress Aboriginal self-determination, and support economic development for the Trust communities.
This includes examining whether the Act should remain in its current form or whether there are better ways of ensuring that the aspirations of shareholders and residents of the two communities can be met.
What has the Review achieved so far?
The Review is being carried out by independent reviewers, Jason Behrendt and Tim Goodwin, who will make recommendations to the Victorian Government. The reviewers consulted with the Trust communities in 2018, which informed the development of an Options Paper released in 2019. The Options Paper details 3 main options for the Act:
- No change
- Minor change
- Major change
In 2019, the reviewers consulted with the Trust communities on the three main options as outlined in the Options Paper.
You can download the Discussion Paper, fact sheets or Options Paper below.
How can I participate in the Review?
All Trust residents and shareholders were invited to have a say about the future of the Act during the consultation rounds in 2018 and 2019.
Both Trusts are preparing a formal submission to the review with the assistance of a lawyer, Adam McLean. If you have a direct connection to either the Framlingham or Lake Tyers Aboriginal communities and would like to be involved in either submission, you can contact First Peoples - State Relations on .
There will be further opportunity for communities to provide feedback before changes to the Act are made.
Please note, First Peoples - State Relations is currently working with the reviewers, Adam McLean and the Framlingham and Lake Tyers Aboriginal communities to determine the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on the completion of the submissions and the review more generally. Some delays are expected, and this will be taken into account when determining dates for completion of submissions.
How can I find out more information?
Reviewed 06 October 2021