Queensland: information on engaging with traditional owners

Native Title Representative Bodies

There are five NTRBs or NTSPs in Queensland:

More information regarding NTRBs, PBCs and NTSPs is provided in the native title section.

Carpentaria Land Council - Prescribed Bodies Corporate (PBC)

In the Carpentaria land council's region, the following PBCs have been registered:

  • Gangalidda and Garawa Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (GGNTAC) ICN 7365
  • Gulf Region Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC (GRAC) ICN 7139
  • Waanyi Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (WNTAC) ICN 7448.

The Carpentaria Land Council is focussing on assisting these PBC’s to become financially independent and self-sufficient and to generate economic and social benefits from native title rights and interests. For more information on this initiative visit the CLCAC Economic Development page.

Agreement making in Queensland

The Business and Industry Portal on the Queensland Government website contains information and a guide about the right-to-negotiate process, including how the process works, time frames, costs and negotiations with native title parties. The right to negotiate (RTN) process enables registered native title parties to negotiate with applicants about how the proposed activities might affect their native title rights and interests. The RTN process doesn't give a native title party the right to veto grants, but does ensure that parties negotiate in good faith about the future act.

A guide to private and state Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) is provided on the Queensland Government’s Business and Industry Portal. A state ILUA is one that has been negotiated between the Queensland Government, mining representative land councils and traditional owners. Information about eligibility for a state ILUA is available on the portal.

When dealing with Aboriginal land or Torres Strait Islander land, the trustee may not be the native title holder. In that case, the agreement of both parties will usually be required for any agreement. Information on who is the trustee of Aboriginal land or Torres Strait Islander land can be located through registers held by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

Case study

Communities, government, universities and private industry improve land management practices in central Queensland

The Woorabinda Land Management Program was designed to increase the wellbeing and profit of individuals, families, businesses and communities by effectively matching the strategies and actions of a group of government agencies with the needs of communities. Identified community needs were: to gain and share planning and land management skills to provide enterprise and employment opportunities; to understand government processes and capacity of government services; and to enhance community cohesion and traditional protocols, storytelling and learning methods to share cultural and technical knowledge.

Participants in the project were community members and Elders, traditional owners, registered native title claimants, community council members, the Woorabinda Pastoral Company and the departments of Primary Industries and Fisheries, State Development and Innovation; and the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships.

For more details visit www.communities.qld.gov.au.

Additional information for the mining and resources sector

There are several processes for resolving native title issues relating to applications for mining and exploration authorities in Queensland. Read more about the application processes. When applying for a mining or exploration authority, a search can be conducted to determine whether the proposed area is subject to native title.

The Business and Industry Portal also provides useful information on native title for the mining and resources sector. This information applies to applications for:

Applications made under the Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2010 and exploration permits under the Geothermal Energy Act 2011 do not trigger the future act provisions of the Native Title Act. Additionally, prospecting permits for pegging purposes don't trigger a native title process. However, prospecting permits for prospecting or hand mining on land where native title may exist do trigger a native title process.

Protocols to assist when consulting with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander individuals, groups or communities can be found on the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships website.

Access permits when travelling to the Torres Strait

If you are planning a trip to one of the Torres Strait islands or communities, it is important that you contact the respective Council Divisional (Island) Office in advance, advise them of your intentions, and obtain current information on the community, services and accommodation available, as well as any cultural protocols that may need to be adhered to. In the case of the Torres Strait Island Regional Council Local Government Area (TSIRC), it is an offence to travel to communities without a visitor's permit if you are not covered by specific exemptions. Visit the TSIRC website to find out more.

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) Cultural Protocols Guide, produced for use by TSRA staff, but also available to the public and other government agencies and non-government organisations, contains comprehensive information on communication, community visits and engagement, and working, researching and staying in communities. The Cultural Protocols Guide is designed to be used in conjunction with the TSRA Cultural Policy and assist staff of the TSRA to provide a consistent culturally respectful and professional level of service to all communities in the Torres Strait region.

Case study

Celebrating and promoting culture in the Torres Strait

Opened in April 2004, the Gab Titui Cultural Centre on Thursday Island fulfilled the long-term goal of Torres Strait Islander communities to own and operate a cultural centre to support and strengthen strong families and strong cultures, and to increase regional arts and cultural industry development.

Extensive consultation occurred over a long period between Torres Strait Islander communities, the Department of Education and the Arts and the Torres Strait Regional Authority to guide the development, design and establishment of the centre.

For more information see: www.TSRA.gov.au.