Commercial developments on Aboriginal Lands

Wednesday, 4 June 2014
Shayne Daley
The Hon. Don Ryan QC
Geoff Clark

The session explores the issues connected with large scale commercial developments on Indigenous lands. Some proposals being discussed are worth many hundreds of millions.

  • How does a bank or developer get a mortgage or security over Aboriginal land?
  • How does a bank or developer get a mandate/authorisation from the Traditional Owners? Is the approval process for ILUAs sufficient? What additional approval processes could be used? What is the role of the PBC and the Traditional Owners in such authorisation?
  • Informed consent. What is the test for assessing the level of disclosure which should be given to Traditional Owners about a proposal? Are some of the disclosure obligations for ‘offer documents’ under the Corporations Act relevant? Who decides whether the disclosure is adequate? How should complex disclosure information be delivered to unsophisticated parties? How do Traditional Owners obtain independent legal and financial advice?
  • Mechanisms to ensure that Aboriginal land is not alienated. DOGIT powers, management orders, leases under state land acts.
  • Tax breaks and development incentives