Division 5 Low-impact exploration licences—special
32A Object of Division
The object of this Division is to provide for the grant of a class
of low-impact exploration licence that may be approved under section 26A of
the Commonwealth Native Title Act.
Note. See clause 14 (3) of Part 5 of Schedule 5 to the Native Title Amendment Act 1998 of the
Commonwealth for preservation of approvals previously granted by the
32B Special low-impact class of licence
(1) There is to be a special class of exploration licence called a
low-impact exploration licence.
(2) An exploration licence may be granted as a low-impact exploration
licence if this Division is complied with.
(3) The provisions of this Act relating to exploration licences apply
to low-impact exploration licences, except as otherwise provided by this
32C Authority conferred by low-impact licence
(1) The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, determine the
kind of prospecting operations that may be authorised by a low-impact
exploration licence, being operations that the Minister is satisfied are
unlikely to have a significant impact on the land over which the licence may
note. For orders under this subsection see Gazette No 120 of 15.10.1999,
(2) The conditions to which a low-impact exploration licence is
subject are to limit the prospecting operations authorised by the licence to
all or some of the prospecting operations of the kind determined by the
Minister under this section.
(3) A change in the prospecting operations determined by the Minister
under this section does not affect a low-impact exploration licence that is in
force at the time the change is made.
32D Provisions relating to applications for low-impact
(1) A person may not be granted a low-impact exploration licence
unless notice of the application for the licence has been served on
(a) registered native title bodies corporate, and
(b) registered native title claimants, and
(c) representative Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander
in relation to any of the land that will be affected by the proposed
prospecting operations to be authorised by the
(2) The notice must contain a map or other description of the land
over which the exploration licence is sought and a description of the kind of
prospecting operations that may be authorised by the
(3) An applicant may request the Minister to grant a low-impact
exploration licence either at the time the application for a licence is made
or at any later time before the grant of the
(4) The regulations may make other provision for or with respect to
the making and grant of applications for low-impact exploration
(5) In this section, application includes
32E Change of class of licence—additional prospecting
(1) The holder of a low-impact exploration licence may apply to the
Minister for a variation of the prospecting operations authorised by the
(2) After considering the application, the Minister may vary the
licence or may refuse the application.
(3) If the prospecting operations authorised by a licence as so varied
are not of a kind permitted by this Division, the licence ceases to be a
low-impact exploration licence.
(4) The variation of an exploration licence takes effect on the date
on which written notice of the variation is served on the holder of the
licence or such later date as may be specified in the
Note. The right to negotiate or other procedures may apply to the
variation of the licence under the Commonwealth Native Title Act if section
26A of that Act no longer applies because of the
32EA Review of determination under section 32E
(1) The Minister must give an applicant under section 32E written
notice of the outcome of the application.
(2) The holder of a low-impact exploration licence may, within 30 days
(or such longer period as may be prescribed) after being served with written
notice of the determination under section 32E apply to the decision-maker for
a review of the determination.
(3) An application must:
(a) be made in the approved form and manner (if any),
(b) contain any information that is prescribed by the regulations,
(c) be accompanied by the fee (if any) prescribed by the
(4) The making of an application for review of a determination does
not operate to stay the determination.
(5) On a review, the decision-maker may confirm or change the
(6) The decision-maker is to give the applicant written notice of the
outcome of the application.
(7) If the decision-maker changes a determination, the changed
determination replaces the earlier determination as from the date of the
(8) A decision on a review may not be further reviewed under this
32F Access arrangement required for prospecting operations
under low-impact licences
(1) In this section, relevant land means
land in relation to which there are registered native title bodies corporate
or registered native title claimants.
(2) A low-impact exploration licence is subject to the condition that
the holder of the licence is not authorised to carry out prospecting
operations on any relevant land otherwise than in accordance with an access
arrangement under Division 2 of Part 8 between the holder of the licence and
each registered native title body corporate or each registered native title
claimant, being an access arrangement:
(a) that is agreed between them in accordance with that Division, or
that is determined for them by an arbitrator in accordance with that Division,
(b) that has involved consultation by the holder of the licence that
satisfies the requirements of section 26A of the Commonwealth Native Title
(3) This section does not apply in any case in which Division 2 of
Part 8 is excluded because of section 138 (2) (which relates to prospecting
title granted after compliance with the full native title right to negotiate
procedure or an indigenous land use agreement).
(4) This section does not limit the operation of Division 2 of Part 8
with respect to landholders who are not native title
32G Renewal of low-impact licences
The requirements of this Division with respect to the grant of a
low-impact exploration licence apply to the renewal of such a licence, subject
to any modifications prescribed by the regulations.