RNTBC Rule Changes

RNTBC Rule book changes explained

Aug 17, 2022

New rules about membership and disputes have come into place, and RNTBC’s have until 24 March 2023 to make changes. Depending on how often your AGM’s are held, you may only have one of two opportunities to make these changes.

What are the rules?

Gaining membership:

“RNTBCs must allow all common law holders to be represented.

A common law holder means the persons included in the Federal Court native title determination. Common law holders are sometimes also called native title holders.

A Prescribed Body Corporate (‘PBC’) is the corporation that is nominated by the common law holders to represent them and manage their native title rights and interests once a determination that native title exists has been made. Once the Federal Court has made a native title determination, the PBC is entered onto the National Native Title Register and once registered, becomes a Registered Native Title Body Corporate (‘RNTBC’). The terms PBC’s and RNTBC’s are often used interchangeably.

This means that directors must now accept all members who fit the criteria and apply for membership the in correct way. Any rules that state otherwise are no longer valid and must be deleted from the rule book.

Cancelling membership:

“RNTBC’s must follow the CATSI act set out process for removal of a member.”

This means that any other way for a member to be removed is no longer valid, and must be deleted from the rule book. The described way from the CATSI act should be added in its place.


“RNTBCs must have a process in their rule book to deal with disputes between the RNTBC and people who are, or claim to be, common law holders.”

This means that your RNTBC must create a dispute resolution process that is captured within the rulebook to address issues that may arise over membership disputes. In particular the dispute resolution process needs to address :

  • whether or not a person is a common law holder; and
  • the RNTBC’s performance of its Native Title functions.

Changes in rulebooks can be onerous, time consuming and can create costs for your RNTBC.

What help is available?


Funding has been made available for RNTBC’s wishing to amend their rule books to become compliant with the changes. If you engage the services of Marrawah Law, we can help you apply.

How can we support you?

Marrawah Law offer both Consultation and Legal support for RNTBCs/PBC’s. If your rulebook is otherwise up to date, maybe you only need a small amount of support to make these changes. Or this could be a great opportunity to make some other changes to your rule book that your directorship have been considering.

Call us to have a yarn about how we can help you.

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