Section 47A claim to Native Title revival

Tuesday, 3 June 2014
Richard Bradshaw

Section 47A of the Native Title Act allows for revival of extinguished native title rights where an area occupied by one or more member of a native title claim group is bested pursuant to land rights legislation, or otherwise held expressly, or reserved for the benefit of Aboriginal people or Torres trait Islanders. Since 1998, when this section was included in the NTA, there have been a number of Federal Court decisions in relation to this section.

The recent (February 2014) judgement in Adnyamathanha #3 Native Title Claim v State of South Australia [2014] FCA 101 in relation to perpetual lease land acquired by the Indigenous Land Corporation and subsequently transferred to an Aboriginal Corporation provides a good opportunity for a review of the cases involving Aboriginal corporations and section 47A; in particular, how the Federal Court, in dealing with this section, may consider the status of the land, the status of the Aboriginal corporation holding the land and the legislation pursuant to which it is vested or held.