The Australian Government holds caveats over 2,800 grant-funded property titles owned by 400 Indigenous organisations. Former ATSIC legislation stopped the Government from removing its interests in these properties unless they were being sold, transferred or mortgaged.
The old legislation meant ATSIC property grants were treated differently from other grants and that Australian Government agencies had different approaches for dealing with the disposal of property.
In February 2018, legislation was passed to allow the Government to give written notice to Indigenous organisations that its consent is no longer required for a property disposal. This means that Indigenous organisations can apply at any time to have a caveat on their property lifted perpetually.
National consultation was conducted in June 2018.
The Australian Government is now asking for your feedback on the attached draft policy and guidelines documents. These are:
ATTACHMENT A.pdf - draft policy statement. This statement provides the Australian Governments’ overarching policy position on removing or retaining caveats held over Indigenous owned properties purchased with grants made by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) and its predecessor organisations.
ATTACHMENT B.pdf - draft guidelines. The guidelines are intended to provide information to organisations about how to apply for the removal of caveats including eligibility and assessment criteria.
ATTACHMENT C.pdf - draft application form. We are anticipating opening for applications in April 2019. Once we open you will be able to fill in and submit this application form online. You won't be able to fill in the draft we have supplied for comment.
ATTACHMENT D.pdf - further information. This document is intended to give background information on the development and intent of the new policy. We only intend it to be additional information. An organisation shouldn't have to read this to be able to successfully put in an application for caveat removal.
While the Government welcome all comments, they are particularly interested in your views on whether:
• the documents are clear and easy to understand; and
• if there is any critical information missing that you need, to either understand the process or complete the application form.
They are working towards opening for applications in April. Your feedback, on or before 12 March, will assist with this. Return any comments via email here.
Contact May Claydon on (02) 6228 6542 if you have any questions about the documents.
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