An international mediation expert has announced that the current number of Native Title claims may take more than a quarter of a century to clear.
“It could take 30 years to clear the outstanding list of 550 native title cases,” mediation authority Patrick Cavanagh has announced.
Despite Native Title legislation being introduced 15 years ago, “the general consensus of participants is that it has failed to deliver results,” Cavanagh said.
Current “cases are taking six to seven years to resolve and at this rate of resolution, the 550 cases currently outstanding will take another 30 years to finalise,” he said.
However, six months ago the federal government introduced the Native Title Amendment Bill to combat these continuing lags, with the new legislation giving mediators greater powers to control the process.
Due to this, Cavanagh has announced he will hold a course the University of Queensland to assist the mining industry with these new changes.
Entitled Mediation Strategies for Native Title Stakeholders, the course aims to provide an appropriate model for land dispute resolution which can be applied to Australia and other jurisdictions such as Papua New Guinea,” Cavanagh said.
“It will identify the glitches in the existing system, examine the new amendments and changes, and offer effective options to expedite settlement.”
The course will be held from 8 April to the 11th at the University of Queensland’s TC Beirne School of Law.