Exclusive possession native title and the need for alternative tenures

Wednesday, 6 June 2018
Paul Sheiner
Bevan Stott
Cathy Goonack

This paper to be jointly presented by Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation (WGAC) and Roe Legal Services explores the experiences of WGAC in managing their exclusive native title rights and interests. These experiences have highlighted the opportunities and some of actual and perceived deficiencies of native title, and has forced WGAC to consider possible alternative legislative and other changes that could address these deficiencies.
Part 1 of the papers will provide an overview of WGAC’s experiences with managing exclusive possession native title post determination. This involved developing and implementing a strategy that provided a way of enjoying their land and waters including through the implementation of Healthy Country Plan including Right Way Fire and Visitor Management.
Part 2 of the paper will focus on some of the legal issues relevant to the WGAC experience.
Part 3 of the paper will look at possible legislation and other solutions including:
(a) use of State Agreements to allow greater flexibility in negotiations with the State;
(b) alternative freehold tenures; and
(c) whether the LAA and Transfer of Land Act could be amended to allow native title holders to lease native title rights and interests (without the need for the State to issue new tenure).