Mr Snowdon explained that his motion related to intertidal claims and would ensure procedural fairness for people affected by certain Senate amendments.(Read Mr Snowdon's full explanation of his motion and the related debate here. Read more about the Senate amendments related to intertidal claims on ABC News. )
The motion was put while the House of Representatives considered a series of amendments proposed by the Senate. If the House agrees with the Senate's amendments then the bill can be passed and become law.
Background to the bill
The bill was introduced to amend the _ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Act 2005_ and the _ Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976_ to:(Read more about the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 here. )
- increase access to Aboriginal land for development, especially exploration and mining;
- facilitate the leasing of Aboriginal land and the mortgaging of leases;
- provide for a tenure system for townships on Aboriginal land that will allow individuals to have property rights;
- devolve decision-making powers to regional Aboriginal communities;
- clarify provisions for the establishment of new Land Councils;
- increase accountability of Land Councils and incorporated bodies which receive payments for the use of Aboriginal land and provide for funding on the basis of workloads; and
- dispose of land claims which cannot be heard or finalised or which are clearly inappropriate to grant.(Read more about the bill here. More information is available in the bills digest.)
According to the bill's explanatory memorandum, this bill implements reforms drawn from three reviews of the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 conducted over the last nine years.