Native Title and Aboriginal Land Claims

MinterEllison’s specialist native title practice assists project proponents in the exploration and mining, infrastructure and utilities, development, quarrying and government sectors, in relation to all their native title, Aboriginal land and indigenous cultural heritage needs. Our team has successfully acted for clients in their dealings with more than 50 different traditional owner groups across all mainland states and territories.

It is important for advisers in this area to be conscious of the reputational, cost and time pressures native title and cultural heritage can pose for clients’ projects, and to strive to deliver outcomes that appropriately address these factors. Our team has a reputation for quickly developing effective working relationships with traditional owners and their representatives. We focus on providing advice which drives negotiations forward, to enable efficient and timely land access, while observing the necessary local protocols and developing good relationships between the client and the traditional land owners.

Key services

The breadth of our experience and approach means that we can tailor services to meet the client’s expectations. We are able to offer a one-stop shop for all native title, Aboriginal land (including Aboriginal land claims over Crown land) and indigenous cultural heritage services, including legal advice, negotiation and project management. Alternatively, we can offer a pure legal advisory service and work cooperatively with other negotiation consultants. Clients often involve our team early in a project to conduct due diligence of the native title status of land and waters. Once this is established, a key part of our practice is drafting and negotiating indigenous land use agreements (ILUAs), right to negotiate agreements and Cultural Heritage Management Plans (CHMPs).

For these agreements and plans we also manage the submission, registration, approval processes and obligations on behalf of clients.

As part of these services, we provide strategic advice regarding engaging and negotiating with traditional owners and representative bodies to assist in developing a mutually beneficial outcome for all parties.

Our work requires extensive liaison with state and Commonwealth government departments regarding policy requirements. This plays an important part in advising clients on strategies to meet their business objectives.

We also offer a comprehensive training program for clients dealing with native title, Aboriginal land and cultural heritage compliance issues.

When disputes occur, we have the experience to deliver effective resolution services. Our lawyers regularly represent our clients in the Federal Court, the National Native Title Tribunal, the Queensland Land Court and the NSW Land and Environment Court in relation to Aboriginal land claims.

16 January 2013

On 31 December 2012, the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), a foreign-related arbitration commission set up by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (also known as the China Chamber of International Commerce) (CCPIT), released its Announcement on Issues Concerning CIETAC Shanghai Sub-Commission and CIETAC South China Sub-Commission" (the Latest Announcement). This is the latest development in a dispute, which has been on foot since April 2012, between CIETAC, the Shanghai Sub-Commission of CIETAC (CIETAC Shanghai), and the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA) (the CIETAC Dispute). SCIA was known as the South China Sub-Commission of CIETAC before 22 October 2012.

1 December 2011

On Tuesday, 29 November 2011, as part of its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2011-12, the Federal Government announced a package of changes intended to raise A$11.5 billion in new revenue and savings.