Traditional owner groups who wish to negotiate a recognition and settlement agreement with the State of Victoria under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic) need to prepare and lodge a threshold statement with the Native Title Unit at the Department of Justice and Community Safety.

The threshold guidelines set out the different topics that a threshold statement must address and the processes regarding the threshold evaluation and negotiations.

There are two parts to a threshold statement. In Part A the traditional owners present information about their traditional and cultural association to country, and the basis for their group description and proposed agreement area. They also describe their group decision-making processes and their agreement-making with neighbouring traditional owner groups. In Part B the traditional owner group demonstrates their readiness to negotiate a settlement package, including nomination of a corporate entity and strategic planning.

The guidelines also explain how the Native Title Unit evaluates the threshold statements it receives. This includes a threshold notification process that invites members of the wider Victorian traditional owner community to make submissions about a particular group that is seeking entry into settlement negotiations.

The guidelines and process flowchart are available here to download. If you would like a copy of the guidelines in a hard copy book format, you can send a request to the Native Title Unit via email to nativetitle@justice.vic.gov.au (External link) or by phone on 03 8684 7520.

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