Native Title and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Law
What is Native Title?
“Native Title” is the current traditional rights and interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Crown lands and waters that are recognised by the Australian Courts and Governments.
Prior to 1992, the common law did not recognise “Native Title” in Australia. However, the High Court in Mabo v Queensland (No. 2) and the Federal Government’s Native Title Act 1993, have resulted in a recognition of a Native Title that pre-dates British settlement, a title that remains today over much of Australia’s Crown lands and waters.
Native Title co-exists with Crown land titles and rights such as mining tenements, certain Crown reserves and leases, including pastoral leases.
What is Aboriginal Cultural Heritage?
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage includes the beliefs, obligations and rights of Aboriginal people associated with protection of their sites and artefacts and other heritage places. State, Territory and Federal laws and policies manage and apply to Aboriginal Cultural Heritage. Aboriginal sites, artefacts and other heritage places are located on both Crown land and freehold title land.
We seek to provide Best Practice advice and assistance to clients in the following areas:
- Advices and negotiations assistance to resources companies in Native Title and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage agreement negotiations and agreements;
- Advices and assistance to Native title Holder PBCs on corporate governance, trusts, “future act” and heritage negotiations and agreement making;
- Advices on land access and legislative requirements for resources clients;
- Working through contractual alliances with environmental consultants to provide “one stop shop” land access, native title and heritage advice and related advice across environmental management and strategies;
- Assisting with commercial projects for native title holders;
- Aboriginal cultural heritage and environmental management and protection;
- Native Title and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage advice to Local Governments; and
- Conduct of Native Title and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Workshops and training for native title holders and proponents.