The CATSI Act and native title

The Native Title Act 1993 and the Native Title (Prescribed Bodies Corporate) Regulations 1999 (PBC Regulations) require corporations to register under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (CATSI Act) if they are determined by the Federal Court to hold and manage native title rights and interests.

These corporations are referred to as prescribed bodies corporate or PBCs. Once a PBC is entered on the National Native Title Register it becomes a registered native title body corporate (RNTBC).

The CATSI Act has tailored provisions for native title and RNTBCs to ensure there is appropriate interaction between the two laws and that obligations under each law don't conflict.

Native Title (Prescribed Bodies Corporate) Amendment Regulations 2011

The Native Title (Prescribed Bodies Corporate) Amendment Regulations 2011 were registered on 14 December 2011.

The amendment regulations amend the existing regulations to:

  • improve the flexibility of the PBC governance regime by:
    • enabling an existing PBC to be determined as a PBC for subsequent determinations of native title
    • removing the requirement that all members of a PBC must also be the native title holders (where agreed by the native title holders)
    • clarifying that standing authorisations in relation to particular activities of a PBC need only be issued once and
    • subject to certain exceptions, including native title holder consent, allowing PBCs to substitute their own consultation requirements in relation to native title decisions rather than follow the requirements in the regulations
  • provide for the transfer of PBC functions in circumstances where there has been failure to nominate a PBC, where a liquidator is appointed, or where a PBC wishes this to occur and
  • enable PBCs to charge a fee for costs incurred in providing certain services and set out a procedure for review by the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations of a decision by a PBC to charge such a fee.

The Amendment Regulations are registered on the Federal Register of Legislation.

ORIC has produced a paper summarising the obligations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander corporations and explaining why some provisions of the CATSI Act have been tailored to avoid conflict with the Native Title Act and PBC Regulations.

ORIC paper—Interaction between the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 and the Native Title Act 1993

This paper explains the policy reasons for provisions of the CATSI Act that only apply to corporations that hold or manage native title.
January 2010


See native title resources.