Options for overlapping claims and shared country - filling in the gaps

Tuesday, 6 June 2017
Susan Phillips

The paper evaluates how overlapping claims are being solved – what has worked and what has not. The models for holding native title have become more complex since the days when overlapping claims were resolved by a single boundary drawn by compromise or legal battle. 

These models need evaluation if we are to start to fill in the gaps between determined areas – many of which were excluded from claims due to disputes by claimants about who held rights in the more marginal areas to their “core” countries.
Many fiercely fought contested claims between rival native title claimants have led to determinations that native title rights and interests have been lost. 

In Western Australia and Queensland, a number of overlapping claims have been resolved by agreement being reached between the native title parties and the State leading to recognition by consent that both groups hold native title in overlap areas between otherwise exclusively held lands. The paper will look at the utility of these models to groups who seek recognition for adjoining country in which they believe they have traditional interests and neighbours with the same view.