16 November

WA Government repeals unfair intestacy laws

An advocacy victory for Arts Law and Aboriginal people in WA was achieved on 8 November 2012 when the WA Legislative Assembly passed the Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority Amendment Bill 2012.  The Bill repeals part IV of the Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority Act 1972 (WA) achieving parity at law for Aboriginal people who die intestate by bringing them under the same scheme of distributing intestate estates as non-Aboriginals.  Having already passed through the Legislative Council, the Bill received Royal Assent on 22 November 2012.  On Wednesday 7 August 2013, the repeal of part IV came into full effect!

Arts Law undertook extensive lobbying of the Western Australian Government to repeal the laws in accordance with a 2006 recommendation of the WA Law Reform Commission.  And it has finally paid off!

Arts Law would like to thank Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Cultural Centre, Mowanjum Art Centre, Aboriginal Art Centre Hub WA and Herbert Smith Freehills for their support during this campaign.

To view a copy of the Bill, explanatory memorandum and second reading speech click here