Aboriginal Land Agreements
The Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (ALRA) allows the NSW Government and Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) to enter into
voluntary and legally binding agreements to resolve land claims, reducing the need for costly and lengthy land claim determinations. These
are called Aboriginal Land Agreements (ALAs).
Importantly, ALAs can settle multiple land claims at the same time, rather than rely on the original process of determining claims one at a
time. These agreements can also include financial payments, and land swaps that may include transfers of unused Crown land that has not yet
Without limiting the matters that may be included in an ALA, such an agreement may make provision for or with respect to the following:
- Financial or other considerations
- Exchange, transfer or lease of land
- Conditions or restrictions on the use of any land to which the agreement relates
- Joint access to and management of land
Undertakings by an Aboriginal Land Council or the Minister administering the Crown Lands Management Act, 2016 with regard to the
lease, transfer, management or use of any land
- The duration of the agreement and the resolution of disputes.
ALAs have the potential to facilitate the vesting of more land in LALCs; that is, the transfer of more land to Aboriginal communities in
NSW. Negotiated settlements may enable LALCs to realise the economic opportunity land ownership brings, as well as provide a
comprehensive settlement of social, cultural, financial and environmental issues.