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ABORIGINAL LAND RIGHTS (NORTHERN TERRITORY) ACT 1976 - SECT 43

National interest cases

             (1)  Where the Governor-General has, under paragraph 40(b), issued a Proclamation relating to the grant of an exploration licence to a person in respect of Aboriginal land, the person (in this section called the applicant ) and the relevant Land Council must, within the negotiating period, try to agree upon the terms and conditions to which the grant will be subject.

             (2)  The Land Council shall not agree upon the terms and conditions unless:

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

                     (b)  it has, as far as practicable, consulted any other Aboriginal community or group that may be affected by the grant of the licence concerning the terms and conditions and it is satisfied that the community or group has had an adequate opportunity to express its views to the Land Council; and

                     (c)  it is satisfied that the terms and conditions are reasonable.

Consultation obligations

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

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

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

                     (c)  the representatives of the applicant may attend so much of the first meeting at which the terms and conditions are discussed as is appropriate for the purpose of 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 the purpose referred to in paragraph (c) unless the traditional Aboriginal owners as a group:

                              (i)  decide that the representatives must not attend; and

                             (ii)  notify the applicant, through the Council, of that decision.

Minister's representative may attend meetings

             (4)  A representative of the Minister:

                     (a)  may attend the meeting referred to in paragraph (3)(c); and

                     (b)  may attend any subsequent meeting unless the traditional Aboriginal owners as a group:

                              (i)  decide that the representative must not attend; and

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

Negotiating period

             (5)  Subject to subsection (6), the negotiating period is:

                     (a)  the period of 180 days after the Proclamation referred to in subsection (1) takes effect; or

                     (b)  such longer period as is agreed upon in writing between the applicant and the Land Council.

             (6)  If:

                     (a)  the Land Council, within the period applicable under paragraph (5)(a) or (b), requests the Minister to extend that period; and

                     (b)  the Minister, after consulting the Northern Territory Mining Minister, is satisfied that:

                              (i)  it is not reasonably practicable for the Council to perform its functions under this section within that period; and

                             (ii)  it is appropriate to extend that period in all the circumstances;

the Minister may, by notice in writing given to the applicant, the Land Council and the Northern Territory Mining Minister, determine the negotiating period to be a specified longer period.



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