In Queensland, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples may get ownership of land through land transfers. In the past, land trusts were established to hold this land for the benefit of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. New land trusts are no longer being established, and land is now granted to corporations registered under the Australian Government's Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 or existing land trusts.
Existing land trusts continue to function as usual, and are administered under the Queensland Government's Aboriginal Land Act 1991 or Torres Strait Islander Land Act 1991. Existing land trusts have the option of establishing a corporation and transferring all land and assets to the corporation.
- Map of entities holding Aboriginal and Torres Island land (under the Aboriginal Land Act 1991 and Torres Strait Islander Land Act 1991)
Role and responsibilities of land trusts
Trustees manage land trusts to ensure it:
- functions under a constitution
- has an executive committee with a chairperson
- maintains appropriate records of decisions and transactions
- holds regular meetings in accordance with the Aboriginal Land Act 1991 and Torres Strait Islander Land Act 1991 and its constitution
- provides compliance documents to the Chief Executive at the end of each financial year.
Also, a land trust can:
- acquire, hold or dispose of property
- borrow, receive and spend money
- sue and be sued in its corporate name
- employ staff and engage consultants.
Land trusts are subject to ordinary local and state government laws relating to development and land taxes. However, trust land is exempt from local government rates if the land is not being used for residential or commercial purposes.
Reporting requirements of land trusts
Land trusts can use the following guides and forms to meet their reporting requirements under the Aboriginal Land Act 1991 and Torres Strait Islander Land Act 1991. Forms can be completed electronically or in hard copy.
Land trust compliance guide
The guide has information on what forms must be completed and how to fill them out.
End-of-financial year reporting
Adding or removing trustees
Land holding entity register requests
- Aboriginal land holding entity register information request form
- Torres Strait Islander land holding entity register information request form