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First Peoples

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The engagement of traditional owners in the economic development of northern Australia

First Peoples economic participation Land use Native Title Economic development Northern Australia

The great majority of the land mass of northern Australia has been claimed or recognised under land rights or native title legislation. Land is the greatest asset for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the region. But the huge challenge today is leveraging land and sea assets for the economic and social advancement of Indigenous communities.

This report examines the nature of this challenge and considers the potential for making the best use of the opportunities provided by title to land.

The report does not aim to be a comprehensive survey of the overall economic challenges facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in northern Australia. Rather, it focuses on the opportunities and challenges for traditional owners associated with land rights, native title and other land-related agreements, especially as it relates to structure and funding of representative bodies, other Indigenous organisations and government entities.

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