Native title information for landholders

When you make a state land application, you may be required to address native title issues as a condition of offer. This page explains two ways in which native title can be addressed.

Indigenous land use agreements

Indigenous land use agreements provide landholders with an option for negotiating flexible, pragmatic arrangements with a native title group.

They can be negotiated whether or not native title has been determined, and can be part of a native title determination or settled separately.

Once an agreement is registered with the National Native Title Tribunal, it has the same status as a legal contract. All parties are bound to the terms of the agreement, providing certainty and security for all.

We strongly support these agreements as a way of resolving any native title issues.

The National Native Title Tribunal has more information on agreements and their use.

Guide to negotiating an agreement

The following guidelines are aimed at landholders who have had a land dealing approved by us that is subject to the resolution of native title issues.

The guidelines explain the types of agreements available and how to negotiate and register agreements. They also include a sample agreement that will fulfill legislative requirements.

The guidelines do not provide legal advice. You should contact a competent legal professional for independent legal advice.

Agreement template for lease conversions

An agreement template has been developed to help landholders negotiate agreements that will provide native title consent for the conversion of their lease to freehold.

The template contains all relevant clauses that the department requires in order for conversion to proceed. However, not all negotiations will be the same and the leaseholder or native title party may want to include additional clauses that are particular to the matter being negotiated.

For a copy of the agreement template, email

Non-claimant applications

Landholders may also be able to address native title by making a non-claimant application to the Federal Court. This process allows a person with a non-native title interest in land (such as a leaseholder) to seek a determination that native title doesn’t exist over particular land or waters.

If you decide to address native title through the non-claimant process under the NTA, action to grant a deed of grant or perpetual lease will only be initiated following receipt of a copy of a Federal Court determination that native title does not exist in relation to the non-claimant application area.

Note: You must ensure that the non-claimant application area covers the area of your application.

The National Native Title Tribunal has more information on non-claimant native title applications.

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