OFFICE OF NATIVE TITLE —
811. Hon MICHAEL MISCHIN to the minister representing the
Minister for Aboriginal Affairs:
In asking my unnoticed question, of
which I have given some notice, I refer to my question without notice 489,
asked on 26 June, about the state Office of Native Title, the answer to which
was provided on 28 June, and to the minister's advice of a merger of
the Aboriginal Policy Unit and Land Approvals and Native Title Unit to form a new
Aboriginal Policy and Coordination Unit.
(1) When was this commenced, and
when is it due to be completed?
(2) What will be
the function of this new unit, and how is it proposed to ensure that the
responsibility of crafting policy for the benefit of Aboriginal people will not
subsume the distinct and separate responsibility of making decisions about
native title on behalf of the state in the interests of all Western Australians?
(3) Has the
minister sought and received advice about the merger and its implications; and,
if not, why not?
(4) If the
minister has sought and received advice about the merger and its implications,
will he table that advice; and, if he declines, will he explain his reasons?
becoming minister, and having regard to the loss of officers experienced in the
field of native title, from whom has the
minister been taking advice; and, if the minister has been receiving advice
from outside consultants and Aboriginal corporations or advocacy bodies,
who are they, and in respect of what issues?
STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question.
(1) The merger
process commenced in February 2018 and the new Aboriginal Policy and
Coordination Unit officially commenced operations on 1 July 2018.
(2) The newly
created Aboriginal Policy and Coordination Unit aims to improve the WA
government's cost efficiency and effectiveness in policy development
and whole-of-government implementation of those policies for the benefit of
Aboriginal people and the wider Western Australian community.
reform of the department's Aboriginal affairs machinery has been
informed by the recommendations of the priority services review. The minister
was verbally briefed throughout the process of the merger.
(5) The minister
receives advice on native title and related matters from the Department of the
Premier and Cabinet, the State Solicitor's Office and the Department of
Planning, Lands and Heritage. He also discusses native title issues with a range
of stakeholders, including Aboriginal corporations and research and industry