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ABORIGINAL LAND RIGHTS (NORTHERN TERRITORY) ACT 1976 - SECT 42

Response of Land Council and Minister to application

             (1)  Where a Land Council receives an application under section 41 for consent to the grant of an exploration licence in respect of particular land, it shall, before the end of the negotiating period in respect of that application:

                     (a)  by notice in writing, either consent, or refuse to consent, to the grant of an exploration licence authorising the proposed exploration program in respect of that land or of a part of that land; and

                     (b)  notify the applicant, the Minister and the Northern Territory Mining Minister, in writing, of its decision and of the day on which the decision is made.

       (1AA)  The Land Council must notify the applicant, the Minister and the Northern Territory Mining Minister of its decision within 7 days of making the decision.

          (1A)  A notice under paragraph (1)(a) is not a legislative instrument.

          (1B)  If the Land Council does not make a decision under paragraph (1)(a) before the end of the negotiating period, the consent of the Northern Territory Mining Minister referred to in subsection 41(1) is taken to be withdrawn at the end of that period.

             (2)  The Land Council shall not consent to the grant of the licence unless it has, before the end of the negotiating period, to the extent practicable:

                     (a)  consulted the traditional Aboriginal owners (if any) of the land to which the application relates concerning:

                              (i)  the exploration proposals; and

                             (ii)  the terms and conditions to which the grant of the licence may be subject; and

                     (b)  consulted any Aboriginal community or group that may be affected by the grant of the licence to ensure that the community or group has had an adequate opportunity to express to the Land Council its views concerning the terms and conditions.

             (3)  The Land Council shall not refuse to consent to the grant of the licence unless it has, before the end of the negotiating period, to the extent practicable, consulted the traditional Aboriginal owners (if any) of the land to which the application relates concerning the matters referred to in paragraph (2)(a).

             (4)  In order to facilitate consultation between the Land Council and the traditional Aboriginal owners:

                     (a)  the Land Council shall convene such meetings with them as are necessary for the purpose of considering the exploration proposals and the terms and conditions;

                     (b)  the Land Council shall give reasonable notice to the applicant and the Minister before each meeting which the applicant and the Minister are entitled to attend;

                     (c)  the representatives of the applicant may attend so much of:

                              (i)  the first meeting at which the substantive content of the exploration program is discussed; and

                             (ii)  the first meeting at which the terms and conditions are discussed;

                            as is appropriate for the purposes of presenting and explaining the exploration proposals (including any information required to be given to the Northern Territory Mining Minister) and outlining the applicant's views concerning the terms and conditions; and

                     (d)  the representatives of the applicant may attend so much of any subsequent meeting as is appropriate for any of the purposes referred to in paragraph (c) unless the traditional Aboriginal owners, as a group, decide and, through the Land Council, notify the applicant, that the representatives may not attend.

             (5)  The Minister may, in writing, authorise a specified person, or any person included in a specified class of persons, to:

                     (a)  attend the meeting, or each meeting, referred to in paragraph (4)(c); and

                     (b)  attend any subsequent meeting.

          (5A)  However, a person covered by subsection (5) must not attend any subsequent meeting if the traditional Aboriginal owners as a group:

                     (a)  decide that the person must not attend; and

                     (b)  notify the Minister, through the Land Council, of that decision.

             (6)  Subject to subsection (7), the Land Council shall not consent to the grant of the licence unless:

                     (a)  it is satisfied that the traditional Aboriginal owners (if any) of the land understand the nature and purpose of the terms and conditions and, as a group, consent to them;

                     (b)  it is satisfied that the terms and conditions are reasonable; and

                     (c)  it has agreed with the applicant upon the terms and conditions.

             (7)  If, at any time within the negotiating period, the Land Council notifies the Minister in writing that the Council and the applicant agree that the terms and conditions should be dealt with by arbitration, the Council is, for the purposes of this Part, taken to have consented to the grant of the licence on the day of the notification.

             (8)  Where the Land Council consents to the grant of the licence, the Minister shall determine, in writing, whether he or she also consents to the grant, and shall notify the applicant and the Land Council, in writing, accordingly, within 30 days, or such other period as is prescribed, after:

                     (a)  the receipt by the Minister of the notice under subsection (1); or

                     (b)  the day on which the Land Council was, under subsection (7), deemed to consent to the grant of the licence.

          (8A)  A determination under subsection (8) is not a legislative instrument.

             (9)  If the Minister fails to comply with subsection (8), the Minister shall be deemed to consent to the grant of the licence.

           (10)  Where the Minister consents to the grant of the licence, he or she shall notify the applicant, the Northern Territory Mining Minister and the Land Council, in writing, accordingly.

           (11)  If subsection (7) does not apply, the applicant and the Land Council may at any time during the negotiating period:

                     (a)  appoint a person agreed upon by the parties; or

                     (b)  request the Minister in writing to appoint a person as a Mining Commissioner;

to try to determine the terms and conditions by conciliation.

           (12)  Where a request is made to the Minister under paragraph (11)(b), the Minister shall, as soon as practicable, appoint a person under section 48F as a Mining Commissioner and that person shall try to determine the terms and conditions by conciliation.

Standard negotiating period

           (13)  Subject to subsections (15) and (17), the negotiating period for an application is the period beginning on the day the application is received by the Land Council and ending at the end of:

                     (a)  the period of 22 months beginning on 1 January in the calendar year after the calendar year in which the application is received by the Council; or

                     (b)  if, before the end of that 22 month period, the applicant and the Council agree in writing to extend that period by 2 years--that 2 year period; or

                     (c)  if, before the end of the following period (the agreed period ):

                              (i)  that 2 year period;

                             (ii)  any 12 month period applicable under any application or applications of this paragraph;

                            the applicant and the Council agree in writing to extend the agreed period by 12 months--that 12 month period.

Notification of extension agreed between the applicant and the Land Council

           (14)  The Land Council must notify the Minister and the Northern Territory Mining Minister of any extension agreed under paragraph (13)(b) or (c).

Ministerial deadline

           (15)  At any time during a period applicable under paragraph (13)(b) or (c), the Minister may, in writing, determine that a specified day is to be the end of the negotiating period (which must be a day at least 12 months after the day of the determination).

Consultation

           (16)  The Minister must, before making a determination under subsection (15), consult the applicant, the Land Council and the Northern Territory Mining Minister. The Minister may conduct the consultation during the period applicable under paragraph (13)(a).

Special negotiating period for some applications

           (17)  If:

                     (a)  a person makes an application (the original application ) under section 41; and

                     (b)  subsection (1B) of this section applies in relation to the original application; and

                     (c)  the person makes a later application under section 41 and the comprehensive proposal set out in the later application is substantially the same as the comprehensive proposal set out in the original application;

the negotiating period for the later application is the period determined by the Minister under subsection (18).

           (18)  The Minister must, in writing, determine a period for the purposes of subsection (17). The period must not be more than 12 months beginning on the day the later application is received by the Land Council.

        (18A)  If:

                     (a)  subsection (17) applies; and

                     (b)  any necessary meetings of the kind referred to in subsection (4) were held in relation to the original application;

then the Land Council is not required to hold any further meeting of the kind referred to in subsection (4) in relation to the later application.

Notice of determination

           (19)  The Minister must give written notice of a determination under subsection (15) or (18) to:

                     (a)  the applicant; and

                     (b)  the Land Council; and

                     (c)  the Northern Territory Mining Minister.

Determination not a legislative instrument

           (20)  A determination made under subsection (15) or (18) is not a legislative instrument.



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