Arakwal Native Title Settlement: 13 Years and Still Going Strong, Politics and the Use of Freehold Transfer in the Settlement of Native Title

Wednesday, 4 June 2014
Adam McLean

The Arakwal People of Bryon Bay NSW made their first native title application on behalf of the Arakwal People in 1994. Since this application, and over the next 15 years, three Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) were negotiated with the state of New South Wales. 

The first ILUA in 2001 was the very first of its kind and a landmark agreement in Australia. It won an international award acknowledging the agreement and the conservation and protection of country. 

Governments and native title claimants throughout Australia have used the Arakwal negotiations as the best practice model in their own respective negotiations. 

The Arakwal People have successfully managed their lands under these ILUAs for many years—land that includes national parks, significant freehold reserves, key tourist developments and camping grounds in and around Byron Bay, one of Australia’s premier tourist destinations. The Arakwal have a fascinating story to tell.

Freehold transfers were a key part to the settlement and also a first of their kind.
The political environment made these transfers possible, and freehold transfers are now a key element in a range of native title settlements. This element will be explored as part of the presentation.

Conference participants will be invited to a post-conference tour of the Arakwal national parks and other facilities in Byron Bay.