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Land transfers

The Aboriginal Land Act 1991 and Torres Strait Islander Land Act 1991 (known collectively as the Indigenous Land Acts) were introduced to transfer land (including the existing Deed of Grant in Trust 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 6.23 million hectares of land have been transferred.

Transferred land

Transferred land is land that has been granted as freehold Aboriginal land or freehold Torres Strait Islander land under the provisions of the Aboriginal Land Act 1991 or Torres Strait Islander Land Act 1991. The land is held by bodies registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cwlth), land trusts established under the Indigenous Land Acts, the Aurukun Shire Council or the Mornington Shire Council.

Note: Under the Indigenous Land Acts, the Minister can make declarations to facilitate the granting of land and about the management of the land. The Minister can also make declarations regarding the reservation of forest products and quarry materials to the state. View a list of Ministerial declarations under the Indigenous land Acts .

Transferable lands

Transferable Land is land that may be granted as freehold Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander land. These lands include:

  • deed of grant in trust land (DOGIT)
  • Aboriginal reserve land
  • Torres Strait Islander reserve land
  • available State land declared to be transferable land
  • national parks in the Cape York Peninsula region and on Moreton Island.

If granted, the land may be held by a body registered under the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006 (Cwlth) or a Land Trust.

For information about declared transferable land, view a list of Ministerial declarations under the Indigenous Land Acts.

Maps of transferable land

Note: Not all transferable land is identified. For example, certain transferable land, such as reserve land, that is within the boundaries of an Indigenous DOGIT is not shown.

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
    or
  • 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:

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 regard to forest products and quarry materials on some land transferred under the Indigenous Land Acts.