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Native Title

With more than 30 years’ experience, our dedicated team is experienced in representing local governments, government corporations, developers, pastoral holders and other public and private entities. 

Native Title

With more than 30 years’ experience, our dedicated team is experienced in representing local governments, government corporations, developers, pastoral holders and other public and private entities.


We represent respondent parties to the majority of native title claims in Queensland, advise proponents on native title compliance options and negotiate indigenous land use agreements for public and private development.


Native title proceedings

  • representing respondent parties to the majority of native title proceedings in the Federal Court in Queensland
  • providing technical and strategic advice on how best to protect and preserve a party’s interests in native title proceedings
  • appearing in the Federal Court, at case management conferences, mediations and in private negotiations 
  • negotiating the terms of more than 50 consent determinations, indigenous land use agreements and land access agreements as part of the resolution of parties’ interests in native title claims
  • commencing non-claimant applications in the Federal Court, where appropriate
  • representing parties in contested native title hearings.

Native title project advice

  • providing native title due diligence and assessment advice to public and private entities for infrastructure projects and the acquisition and development of land
  • negotiating indigenous land use agreements for the construction of public and private sector infrastructure and development with Traditional Owners, the State of Queensland and other parties, including over townships to facilitate development in accordance with local planning instruments and regional plans
  • advice upon and the preparation of future act notices under the Native Title Act 1993 for the validation of activities that affect native title
  • undertaking and providing advice on tenure history analysis to ascertain whether native title exists or has been extinguished by tenure grants or the constructions of public works
  • making submissions to the State in relation to the native title implications of the offers of tenure grants
  • assisting public entities to compulsorily acquire native title to facilitate projects, where appropriate
  • assisting landowners and purchasers to address the native title implications to freehold State land
  • advice on the native title implications of changing tenures including upgrading pastoral holdings, the dedication of public reserves and the grant of leases
  • facilitating training of management and staff on native title legal compliance requirements.

Aboriginal cultural heritage

Holding Redlich assists both government entities and private developers to meet with their duty of care to protect Aboriginal cultural heritage in the construction of public and private infrastructure. Our legal team has extensive experience in assisting proponents to address the requirements of the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld) and the Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld) including negotiating agreements and cultural heritage management plans where required.

Compliance advice

  • providing advice to public and private proponents of activities and development in relation to addressing the duty of care under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003(Qld) and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld)
  • drafting and negotiating Aboriginal cultural heritage management plans and agreements
  • advice in relation to potential or threatened Aboriginal cultural heritage proceedings
  • representing parties in the Land Court
  • training of staff and contractors on Aboriginal cultural heritage legal compliance requirements. 

Indigenous land dealings

Holding Redlich regularly advises on the implications of land dealings and tenure grants under various relevant indigenous land legislation including the Aboriginal Land Act 1991 (Qld), Torres Strait Islander Land Act 1991(Qld), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Holding Act 2013 (Qld) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Justice, Land and Other Matters) Act 1984 (Qld) and the native title provisions of the Crown Land Management Act 2016 (NSW).

We represent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander local governments who hold land in trust for the benefit of their indigenous inhabitants and have had extensive experience in providing advice on land dealings and drafting tenure instruments including leases, transfers, permits and easements over indigenous land. 

This includes:

  • advice on the powers and responsibilities of trustees of reserve land and the transferability of trust land
  • drafting and providing advice on the grant of Aboriginal freehold and home ownership leases under the Aboriginal Land Act 1991, social housing leases under the Housing Act 2003, trustee leases, trustee permits, easements and licenses under the Land Act 1994 and the grant of “Katter” leases under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Landholding Act 2013
  • negotiating and drafting leases to business and commercial entities in indigenous communities including addressing the native title implications of grant and compensation entitlements
  • successfully representing the applicants in the Land Court and Supreme Court proceedings which resulted in the first grant of home ownership leases under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Holding Act 2013 (Qld) ( Katter Leases) and which paved the way for the grant of a further 230 leases to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander home owners in Queensland.

Recent Posts

01 June 2021 - Knowledge

Federal Court rules no native title exists on two leasehold properties

#Native Title

Two Queensland leaseholders have successfully obtained a Federal Court order that native title does not exist over their properties, paving the way for a freehold conversion.

27 April 2021 - Knowledge

NSW Government Bulletin

#Government, #Native Title

The NSW Select Committee has made 39 recommendations to address the high level of First Nations people in custody and deaths in custody. We put a spotlight on some of the recommendations relating to changes in the law, court processes and delivery of services.

23 March 2021 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government, #Native Title

The Federal Court of Australia has struck out two native title compensation claims due to lack of specificity.

15 December 2020 - Knowledge

Federal Court examines ambit of model litigant principles in Queensland

#Native Title, #Government

A recent Federal Court native title decision has rejected a challenge to the State’s decision not to recognise native title based on a breach of model litigant principles.

10 November 2020 - Knowledge

The ongoing Western Highway duplication dispute over sacred Indigenous trees

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Native Title, #Government

We look at the latest complex and sensitive issues following widely publicised protests of the Western Highway upgrade regarding the destruction of culturally significant trees.

10 December 2019 - Knowledge

Expert guide: Be ready for 2020

#Agribusiness, #Corporate & Commercial Law, #Data & Privacy, #Immigration Law, #Native Title, #Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Property, Planning & Development, #Technology, Media & Telecommunications, #Transport, Shipping & Logistics, #Workplace Relations & Safety, #Procurement

New whistleblower requirements, increased pressure to protect data globally, turbulence in the communications sector, and intensifying drought management issues - 2020 is set to be a significant time of change across many industries.

08 May 2019 - Knowledge

Construction company pleads guilty to harming Cultural Heritage

#Native Title, #Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

A recent landmark cultural heritage prosecution in Queensland provides insight into the factors relevant to deciding penalties for harm to Aboriginal cultural heritage.

14 March 2019 - Knowledge

High Court hands down landmark native title compensation decision

#Native Title

The High Court has handed down its decision in the Timber Creek native title compensation claim. In its decision on 13 March 2019, the Court awarded compensation and interest to the native title holders in an amount of approximately $2.5 million dollars.

20 February 2019 - Knowledge

Council fined for destruction of Aboriginal cultural heritage

#Native Title, #Local Government

The NSW Land and Environment Court has fined the Clarence Valley Council $300,000 for the removal of a scar tree in 2016.

07 February 2019 - Knowledge

Federal Court refuses to order that native title does not exist over pastoral holding

#Native Title

A recent decision of the Federal Court has questioned the use of non-claimant applications to secure tenure over land.

21 November 2018 - Knowledge

Fair Work Commission orders compensation for distressing employment termination

#Workplace Relations & Safety, #Native Title

The Fair Work Commission has ordered that compensation be paid to three employees of an Indigenous Corporation for the distress caused by their employer asking that they prove their connection to the local traditional owner group.

20 November 2018 - Knowledge

Court decision questions the status of endorsed parties in Cultural Heritage Management Plan process

#Native Title, #Property, Planning & Development

Supreme Court decision in Mirvac orders that CHMP be approved but opens question of loss of Aboriginal party endorsed status.