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Home > Land > Land Facts > 02. What is Native Title?

What is Native Title?

Beginning in 1992, the law of Australia changed so that the existence of native title was recognised. Native title does not depend on a grant of an interest in land by the Crown. Native title means the communal, group or individual rights and interests of Aboriginal peoples or Torres Strait Islanders in land or water.

The existence and extent of native title depends on the traditional laws and customs of the Aboriginal peoples or Torres Strait Islanders and maintenance of a connection (or relationship) with the land or water. A determination whether or not native title exists in relation to a particular area of land or water can be made by the Federal Court under the Native Title Act. Native title can be extinguished (or destroyed so that it cannot be revived) by some circumstances. Whether or not native title is extinguished in particular circumstances is controlled by the Native Title Act. Unlike land title, native title cannot be transferred or sold.



Last modified: 03 May 2010
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