The Aboriginal Land Act 1991 and Torres Strait Islander Land Act 1991 were introduced to transfer land (including the existing community lands and some lands reserved for particular purposes) to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people to enable them to manage the land according to their tradition or custom.
So far, more than 5.7 million hectares of land have been transferred.
What land can be transferred?
Transferable lands include:
- deed of grant in trust land (DOGIT)
- Aboriginal reserve land
- Torres Strait Islander reserve land
- available state land declared by regulation to be transferable land
- national parks in the Cape York Peninsula region.
Maps of transferable land
- Map of transferable land (DOGITs, Reserves and Aboriginal Land Leases) under the Aboriginal Land Act 1991 and Torres Strait Islander Land Act 1991
- Map of transferable land (national parks and unallocated state land (USL)) under the Aboriginal Land Act 1991
- Map of Cape York Peninsula region
Expressions of interest
You can ask to have land transferred by lodging an expression of interest for that land. To be eligible you must either:
- be an individual or member of a group with connection with the land under Aboriginal tradition or Island custom
- live on or use the land or neighbouring land.
Expressions of interest can be made for:
- available state land
- land dedicated as a reserve under the Land Act 1994
- a stock route (only under the Aboriginal Land Act 1991)
- land subject to an occupation licence
- land held under a lease under the Land Act 1994 by or for Aboriginal people or Torres Strait Islanders.
Register an expression of interest:
- Expression of interest in land by Aboriginal people form
- Expression of interest in land by Torres Strait Islanders form
Land transfer process
We will consult the Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people particularly concerned with the land about a grantee to hold the land, as well as about land ownership responsibilities and use.
Land tenure arrangements
When land is transferred, the trustee holds the land for the benefit of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people particularly concerned with the land and their ancestors and descendants or the native title holders of the land.
The title to the transferred land is 'inalienable freehold'. This means the land can never be sold. Other features of land transferred under the Aboriginal Land Act 1991 and Torres Strait Islander Land Act 1991 include:
- the land cannot be mortgaged
- leasing on the land is restricted
- native title interests are not extinguished by the grant.
The Queensland Government retains ownership of the minerals and petroleum on all land in Queensland. It also retains certain rights in regards to forest products and quarry materials on some land transferred under the Aboriginal Land Act 1991 and Torres Strait Islander Land Act 1991.