Negotiations between Aboriginal and industry groups over amendments to the Native Title Act collapsed in early September. The two groups will now make separate submissions to Nick Minchin, who has the task of arbitrating the amendments and steering them through the Senate. The breakdown in the talks means that the Senate is unlikely to consider amendments to the Native Title Act until next year. Key areas of disagreement relate to the role of Aboriginal land councils in native title applications and agreements, and the points at which negotiation may occur. For example, the mining industry wants negotiation to occur at either the exploration stage or the mining stage of a project, but not both. The Aborigines want to retain the right to negotiate at both stages.