Native title

Native title in Western Australia

A list of current Western Australian native title claims are available from the National Native Title Tribunal.

The combined area of registered and determined native title claims over Western Australia is approximately 90% of the State's land mass. Some claims include inter-tidal and sea areas.

To assist claim management, the State is divided into six regions. The Land Approvals and Native Title Unit website contains links to find out what native title applications and determines currently exist in each of the six regions. A mining tenement cannot be granted unless it has satisfied the future act requirements of the Native Title Act. The Department of Mines and Petroleum have produced a number of resources to assist in assessing the impact on native title and determining the scope of an agreement. Additionally, the WA Department of Premier and Cabinet provides a useful guide called the Guide for Third Party ILUAs.

The Land Administration Act 1997 also allows Aboriginal people in Western Australia to practice traditional hunting in unfenced or unimproved pastoral leases.

Western Australian land and sea councils have statutory responsibilities for representing the interests in land held by the traditional owners and native title holders within their respective jurisdictions. As of 2 April 2015 the following NTRBs represent the various regions within Western Australia:

The Ngaanyatjarra Council, while not an NTRB, holds a broad range of responsibilities for 12 communities in remote Western Australia.

For more information about engaging with traditional owner groups refer to the engagement guide.

Case study

Burrup and Maitland Industrial Estates Agreement

In the Pilbara region, the Burrup and Maitland Industrial Estates Agreement

Implementation Deed (the Burrup Agreement) was signed in January 2003 between Woodside and three Aboriginal groups. The industrial estate contains onshore facilities of Woodside's North West Shelf Venture, one of the world's largest LNG producers. The Burrup Agreement allowed for the acquisition of native title and provides for the establishment of an Aboriginal Body Corporate, the Murujuga Aboriginal Corporation, to manage financial and other benefits of the agreement.

Source: Indigenous Agreement Making Resource Book.