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A future act is a proposed activity that may affect native title. Future acts include proposed mining, exploration, compulsory acquisition, tourism and other developments.
In native title, a “future act” is an act on land or waters that affects native title rights and interests. The future act can be a proposed activity or development on land and or waters that has the potential to affect native title by extinguishing it or by creating interests that are inconsistent with the existence or exercise of native title.
The most common example is the intention to grant mining tenements or to grant permits or permissions to carry out certain activities which can include:
Under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld), a native title claim that has been registered or determined has certain rights including the right for the Applicant or PBC to be notified and consulted on future acts that may affect their native title rights and interests.
Most future acts are notified under section 24 of the Native Title Act. QSNTS provides registered claimants and PBCs with assistance in understanding the process for commenting on or objecting to the proposed activities.
Activities such as mining, petroleum exploration and compulsory acquisition of land for non-government parties are notified under section 29 of the Native Title Act (NTA). Where a ‘Right to Negotiate’ applies, QSNTS provides a service representing the registered native title Claimants and PBCs in negotiations and, if necessary, arbitration of future acts.
The NTA defines when notification of the intent to grant tenements, permits, permissions or licences must be given and how that notification must be given. Registered native title claimants have the right to comment on the proposal within the timeframe stated in the notice (usually 28 days). In mining matters, registered native title claimants have the right to negotiate and different timeframes may apply.
QSNTS is required to ensure that, as far as reasonably practicable, notices that are received by QSNTS are brought to the attention of any person who we are aware holds or may hold native title in relation to the land or waters as part of QSNTS’ function as a representative body (refer to section 203BG of the Native Title Act).