The Queensland Resources Council has welcomed Native Title Act amendments passed in the Senate today, saying they will restore security to all parties that rely on Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs).
The issue has been described as the final legal hurdle for the development of the $16.5 billion Carmichael coal project.
The amendments to the Native Title Act were in response to the McGlade judgment in the Full Federal Court in February, which held that all named applicants on a registered native title claim must sign the ILUA as a condition precedent to its registration.
The McGlade decision, which overturned the 2010 Bygrave decision, rendered invalid ILUAs that had been settled during the time between the two decisions, from 2010-2017.
In a statement, the QRC said it applauded both sides of politics for working together to pass the amendments, which returned the status quo to all ILUAs – protecting hundreds of mining and petroleum leases, national parks and other infrastructure.
North Queensland-based Senator Ian Macdonald said he was pleased the Federal Government acted immediately to rectify the issue, introducing amendments to the legislation two weeks after the McGlade decision to secure rights and return certainty to the Native Title process.
“Those ILUAs had created jobs and development, and the Federal Court’s ruling in February this year put all of that in jeopardy, including Indigenous approval of the Adani project,” he said.
“The successful passage of this legislation signals the final remaining hurdle for what will be one of the biggest job-creating projects in Queensland’s recent history.
The local indigenous groups in the Galilee Basin who are signatories to the ILUA with Adani will once again reap the benefits of this agreement.”