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Implementing the Review recommendations

The Victorian Government is committed to amending the Aboriginal Lands Act 1970 (the Act) and will continue to engage with the Trust Communities in implementing Review recommendations. Part of this process involves holding workshops to ensure that any changes to the Act, including the implementation of non-legislative reform, continue to reflect the aspirations of the Trust Communities. The Review recommendations will be considered in two phases.

Phase one

Phase one will implement 28 (22 legislative and six non-legislative) recommendations as a priority, which will improve processes for share transfers; strengthen governance provisions; facilitate economic activity; modernise terminology in the Act; and increase understanding of the Act and its shareholding system.

Implementing phase one reform will provide the groundwork for future reform, including potential future implementation of the remaining 14 Review recommendations, subject to further analysis and community engagement.

The 22 legislative recommendations include:

  • Recommendation 5: Instrument of Transfer
  • Recommendation 6: Notice of transfers
  • Recommendation 8: Shares not sold contrary to Act
  • Recommendation 14: “Personal representative" definition
  • Recommendation 16: Frequency of general meetings
  • Recommendation 17: Quorum for general meetings
  • Recommendation 18: Notice of general meetings
  • Recommendation 19: Minutes of general meetings
  • Recommendation 20: Election of Committee of Management
  • Recommendation 21: Disqualification from Committee
  • Recommendation 22: Quorum for Committee of Management
  • Recommendation 23: Minutes of Committee meetings
  • Recommendation 24: Casual vacancies for Committee
  • Recommendation 26: Pecuniary interests
  • Recommendation 27: Exemption from compliance
  • Recommendation 29: Reporting to the Minister
  • Recommendation 30: Copy of share register for Minister
  • Recommendation 31: Investigations
  • Recommendation 32: Definition of “resident”
  • Recommendation 36: Powers of Trust
  • Recommendation 37: Conducting business on Trust land
  • Recommendation 40: Modernisation of the Act

The six non-legislative recommendations include:

  • Recommendation 1: Audit of share register at Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trust
  • Recommendation 2: Improving awareness of the Act
  • Recommendation 3: Materials advising shareholders of information about their shares
  • Recommendation 10: Assistance to identify and notify families of deceased shareholders
  • Recommendation 41: Ongoing review and consultation
  • Recommendation 42: Continuing engagement with Trust

Phase two

Phase two will consider implementation of the remaining 14 (13 legislative and one non-legislative) recommendations, subject to further analysis, community engagement and the implementation of interdependent recommendations in phase one.

The 13 legislative recommendations include:

  • Recommendation 4: Clarify power of Committee in relation to transfer of shares
  • Recommendation 7: Class of transferee
  • Recommendation 9: Shares to only be held by Aboriginal people
  • Recommendation 11: Role of Committee in relation to transfers in accordance with a Will
  • Recommendation 12: Powers of an Executor in relation to transfers
  • Recommendation 13: Distribution of shares on intestacy
  • Recommendation 15: Maintenance of share register
  • Recommendation 25: Model rules for Committee
  • Recommendation 28: Independent Registrar
  • Recommendation 33: Restriction on sale of land
  • Recommendation 34: Using the land as a security
  • Recommendation 35: Selling land other than former Reserve land
  • Recommendation 39: Mining on Trust land

The one non-legislative recommendation includes:

  • Recommendation 38: Finance

Implementing the Review recommendations will not restrict the Victorian Government from future major reform, including aligning with the aspiration of the Trust Communities.