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Discussion paper

Unfinished business: truth-telling about Aboriginal land rights and native title in the ACT

First Peoples treaties Government relations with First Peoples Land rights Native Title Australian Capital Territory

This discussion paper investigates the historical circumstances of how the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) got into the predicament of not having recognised the local Aboriginal peoples’ land rights and interests via a statutory land rights grants/transfer scheme similar to that in other jurisdictions around Australia and how the resolution of native title matters under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) in the ACT have been arbitrarily impeded by various factors.

The paper is based on information in the public domain, including statutes, legal proceedings and judgements, historical records held by the National Archives of Australia, the National Library of Australia and ArchivesACT, government policy and program initiatives, the reports and findings of government departments and agencies, academic journal articles, PhD theses, research reports, working papers and discussion papers by reputable research institutions and newspaper reports. Some consultation and factchecking was undertaken with some of the Aboriginal families of the ACT and key stakeholders about the findings, especially where information was not available in the public domain or there was some ambiguity.

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