Looking forward- proposal for a native title registration model to supplement the current native title registration system

Tuesday, 6 June 2017
Jennifer Jude

In looking around us the current native title registration system is not title based which means it is difficult to ascertain how native title relates to co-existing interests. The land title and native title details are not updated subsequent to registration which precludes certainty. The Cape York Institute and the Cape York Land Council in a joint submission to COAG in 2015 noted that land administration systems proving certainty are essential for development on Indigenous land and to keep development starting up costs low.
The States and Territories could record native title in land in their Torrens Title systems and could also develop an additional section in the registers established pursuant to State and Territory water legislation in which to register or record native title in inland water. These measures would supplement the current native title registration system, assist in providing certainty and would demonstrate how interests in the same land and inland waters relate to each other.

A conclusive three dimensional marine register and cadastre is required for environmental protection, planning, save-guarding endangered marine species and environments vital to the exercise of native title. If such a system was developed, native title in tidal waters offshore could be included.