Articles on Native title

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The Timber Creek claim is being seen as a test case for future Indigenous land rights compensation claims. Maleika Halpin/CrowdSpark

How will Indigenous people be compensated for lost native title rights? The High Court will soon decide

The decision will have huge implications for Indigenous peoples who have lost their land rights and for state and territory governments that may be liable for compensation.
Members of the W&J Traditional Owners Council outside the Federal Court. W&J Council

The last line of defence: Indigenous rights and Adani’s land deal

The Carmichael coal mine requires a crucial native title agreement to build key infrastructure. But an Indigenous group is bringing legal action against Adani, which may create a fatal roadblock.
Paul Keating recognised the significant opportunities – and political risks – the High Court’s Mabo decision presented. National Archives of Australia

Cabinet papers 1992-93: Keating government fights for Indigenous rights on multiple fronts

Cabinet papers reveal the extent to which the Keating government was torn between concern for fiscal responsibility and a desire to tackle Indigenous disadvantage and pursue meaningful reconciliation.
The Tent Embassy in Canberra has for decades been symbolic of the tensions in Australian cities about recognition, reconciliation and land justice. Dylan Wood/AAP

How can we meaningfully recognise cities as Indigenous places?

Imagine if we did urban development in a way that honours Indigenous histories, knowledge and relationships with those places.
Most people against recognising Aboriginal customary law think there’s only one law in Australia. AAP/Joe Castro

Why Australia won’t recognise Indigenous customary law

Few in Australia understand the context and true meaning of customary law. Denials of its validity are often based on ignorance or on specific examples devoid of context.
Bradshaw rock paintings near King Edward River, Kimberley region of Western Australia. Wikimedia Commons

Aboriginal history rewritten again by ignorant political class

Last week Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm was widely reported as suggesting that people other than Aboriginal Australians may have occupied the Australian continent in the past. At a doorstop…
In some parts of Australia, cattle properties have been hand over to the traditional owners, but for others the return of their land seems further away than ever. AAP/Jordan Baker

Kidman’s sale marks second wave of South Australian colonisation

The company built by 'Cattle King' Sidney Kidman is for sale. He enjoyed good relations with the Indigenous inhabitants, but proper recognition of their rights to their land seems ever more elusive.
Martha Koowarta, her late husband John and her Wik people have had to fight since the 1970s for their land rights in north Queensland to be properly recognised. AAP Image/David Sproule

Fighting for their country: inside the battle for Cape York

This week’s Federal Court ruling that the Wild Rivers declarations introduced by the former Queensland Labor Government were rushed and invalid was the long-awaited result many Cape York Indigenous groups…
The High Court has ruled in favour of extending native title rights to a 44,000 square kilometre area of the Torres Strait Sea - the largest sea claim in Australian history. AAP/Jordan Baker

Native title rights, regulations and licences: the Torres Strait Sea Claim

It may have been 21 years since the landmark Mabo judgment recognised native title in Australia for the first time, but historic legal native title decisions are still taking place. The High Court of Australia…
Litigation surrounding current Noongar land title claims is convoluted and limiting, but will there be an adequate solution? AAP/Cortlan Bennett

From the bike to the bus: the Noongar native title settlement

The current negotiations over the Noongar native title claim in the south-west corner of Australia reflect an important maturing of the native title resolution process. Beneath the photo opportunities…
Eddie Koiki Mabo (left) and Jack Wailu on the Torres Strait Island of Mer during the High Court challenge. AAP/National Archives of Australia

Advocates or activists: what can lawyers learn from Mabo?

Australians have just celebrated Mabo Day – this year marking the 20th anniversary of the landmark High Court decision that changed the course of land rights in Australia The case has special resonance…
The Canberra Aboriginal tent embassy. Should the protest in Musgrave Park be seen in the same light? AAP/Alan Porrit

Musgrave Park and ‘the embassy in my own land’

This weekend, South Brisbane will play host to the Paniyiri Festival, one of Australia’s largest cultural events. From May 19 to 20, thousands are expected to join the celebrations and delight themselves…
Mining companies are finally sharing the benefits with the native owners of the land. AFP/Christian Sprogoe/Rio Tinto

The Boom: Native owners or mining companies: who benefits?

Aboriginal Australians living in remote areas have, for the past five decades, experienced at close quarters the ill-effects of large scale mining, while receiving few of the benefits. From Cape York…

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