Land rights


Township leasing and the democratisation of opportunity

Township leasing was a significant 2006 reform to the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act 1976 (ALRA). This paper discusses township leasing from an institutional economics perspective. It argues that despite its noble intentions, ALRA created an extractive institutional framework for Indigenous people living on ALRA...
Policy report

Leasing reforms on Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory: impacts on land rights and remote community governance

Since 2006, Aboriginal land in the Northern Territory has been subject to a range of land tenure reforms, mostly government-initiated. This paper examines the extensive and varied impacts of three leasing models on the governance of the land rights system and remote communities, and the...
Discussion paper

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

In this discussion paper, Ed Wensing argues that the ACT Government should not be afraid to follow the examples set by Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory, in commencing treaty discussions about possible ways of resolving the matters of sovereignty and self-determination, including over land...

First Peoples and land justice issues in Australia

This report investigates the human rights impacts of companies operating on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land. This report describes the multiple barriers that First Peoples and land rights campaigners face to achieving land justice.

On Taungurung Land: sharing history and culture

This publication is the first monograph to examine how the Taungurung Nation of central Victoria negotiated with protectors and pastoralists to retain possession of their own country for as long as possible. The book shares generational knowledge, in order to revitalise relationships to place and...

Destruction of Juukan Gorge: we need to know the history of artefacts, but it is more important to keep them in place

This article explores First Nations peoples' connection to land, in the aftermath of Rio Tinto detonating a 46,000 year old site known as Juukan Gorge in Western Australia.
Technical report

Measuring individuals’ rights to land

This technical report aims to provide the rationale for the Sustainable Development Goals indicators on land tenure security for men and women (1.4.2 and 5.a.1) as well as guidance for data collection to enable reporting on these two indicators.
Briefing paper

Operationalizing Indigenous consent through land-use planning

The implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), in particular the standard of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC), is emerging as a central focus of policy debate in Canada.This article examines the potential utility of a revitalized approach to...

Avoiding corruption in large scale land-based investments in Sub-Saharan Africa

Conventional, top-down and governance-focused anti-corruption efforts have had limited success in the fight against corruption in developing countries, argues this report. It considers how to develop and strengthen incentive-driven and high-impact anti-corruption initiatives.

Northern Territory Aboriginal land and sea action plan

This action plan identifies 10 actions the NT Government will implement in partnership with key agencies and other organisations. It is designed to better coordinate Aboriginal land and native title matters across the Northern Territory.
Working paper

Policy implications of the Timber Creek decision

This paper considers the recent ‘landmark’ decision in native title law in Northern Territory v Mr A. Griffiths (deceased) and Lorraine Jones on behalf of the Ngaliwurru and Nungali Peoples [2019] HCA 7.

Improving the model for returning land to Aboriginal communities

This report summarises the responses to the questions outlined within the discussion paper, as well as key points and themes raised during consultation. Due to the number of submissions, not all comments can be referenced in this report.

‘Bisnis in context’: unlocking the potential for sustainable commercial use of land in Solomon Islands

In the Solomon Islands, where around 87% of land is under customary tenure, commercial ventures need support from customary landowners, otherwise they are unlikely to succeed. This report is part of a broader regional study on sustainable economic development of customary land in the Pacific...

Land and water rights of Traditional Owners in Victoria

This research paper provides an overview of the key mechanisms by which Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders can exercise their rights to land and waters in Victoria.
Discussion paper

Discussion paper: Improving the model for returning land to the Aboriginal community

The purpose of this discussion paper is to provide information about Tasmania’s current model for returning land to the Aboriginal community, and to facilitate discussion about improvements or changes to this model.

The Barunga Agreement

This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) represents the first significant step in advancing a Treaty in the Northern Territory since the call for a national Treaty in the historic Barunga Statement by the Northern and Central Land Councils.

NSW Aboriginal Land Council Strategic Plan 2018 - 2022

The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council's (NSWALC) Strategic Plan sets the organisation's direction and prioritises its efforts towards achieving this renewal. It also gets everyone – our Council, staff, Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) and the broader Aboriginal Land Rights movement on the same...

Land Rights and Empowerment of Urban Women, Fa’afafine and Fakaleitī in Samoa and Tonga

The thesis addresses significant gaps in the existing knowledge on land rights in the Pacific, which are the voices of urban women, fa’afafine, and fakaleitī1. The lands concerned are customary land in Samoa, and Crown owned land in Tonga. The knowledge in the thesis relates...

New map, old roads

When the WA government issued a draft of its first independent policy on Aboriginal development (Resilient Families, Strong Communities: A Roadmap for Regional and Remote Aboriginal Communities) in mid July, it signalled the final act in a drama that began with the failure of WA...
Working paper

Translating Aboriginal land rights into development outcomes: factors contributing to a successful program in Central Australia

This paper explores some of the factors that appear to be supporting the growth and success of the Central Land Council's multimillion-dollar Aboriginal community development program that operates across Central Australia.