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Native Title Tribunal President

I am pleased to announce the re-appointment of the Honourable Justice Robert French as President of the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) until 31 December 1997.

Justice French has been President of the Tribunal since May 2, 1994, with the original appointment expiring on 1 May this year. However, Justice French has agreed to accept re-appointment as President until the end of the year.

The Government's amendments to the Native Title Act 1993 which are presently before the Parliament will remove the restriction that only judges or former judges can be appointed as President of the NNTT. This will give greater flexibility in the choice of President and the ability to select a President from a broader pool of candidates.

Justice French has indicated that he would return to the Bench when the three-year term expired but he has agreed to accept re-appointment while a successor is found.

The Government welcomes Justice French' s agreement to stay on as President until the end of the year when the appointment of his successor will be announced.

Media contacts:

Nicholas Harford, Attorney General's office, 06 277 7300

Jack Woodforde, Attorney General's Dept, 06 250 6512