Related Resources

Links

News Subscription

Subscribe to the Tribunal updates and alerts

Subscribe Now


Glossary 

A-D | E-M | N | O-Q | R-Z

* NTA = Native Title Act 1993 (Cwlth)

access agreement
an agreement between native title holders and non-native title holders about access to areas of land and waters where native title may exist or has been recognised. Most often used in relation to non-exclusive pastoral leases (see also Part 2 Division 3 Subdivision Q NTA).

alternative procedure agreement
A type of indigenous land use agreement. There must be at least one registered native title body corporate or at least one representative Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander body (representative body) for the agreement area. Not available over areas where there are registered native title bodies corporate for the whole agreement area or where the agreement deals with the surrender of native title or changing the effect of an intermediate period act (ss. 24DA –- 24DM NTA).

Amendment Act
an Act of the Australian Parliament that amended the NTA. The main amending Acts include:

  • the Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cwlth) most of which came into effect on 30 September 1998
  • the Native Title Amendment Act 2007 (Cwlth) most of which came into effect on 15 April 2007
  • the Native Title Amendment (Technical Amendments) Act 2007 (Cwlth) most of which came into effect on 1 September 2007.

amendment
a change or alteration to a document, such as an application to a court. Amendment of a claimant application will usually trigger the application or re-application of the registration test however there are exceptions (see ss. 64(4) and 190A NTA).

applicant
usually a reference to the person or persons, authorised by the native title claim group to make an application for a determination of native title or an application for compensation and to deal with all matters arising under the NTA in relation to that application. The term also refers to those making a non-claimant application for a determination of native title or a revised native title determination application (ss. 61(2) and 62A NTA).

approved determination of native title 
a decision by the Federal Court or the High Court of Australia or a recognised body that native title either does or does not exist in relation to a particular area of land or waters (ss. 13 and 225 NTA).  To date the only bodies recognised under s. 207A of the NTA are the Supreme Court of South Australia and the Environment, Resources and Development Court of South Australia.

area agreement
a type of indigenous land use agreement where there is no registered native title body corporate (or bodies corporate) for the entire agreement area (ss. 24CA – 24CL NTA).

arbitration
the process in which an arbitral body such as the National Native Title Tribunal makes a binding determination about a right to negotiate application.

authorisation
the process native title holders must use to give permission for:

  • an application for a determination of native title to be made under the NTA on their behalf by ‘the applicant’ and to give the applicant the power to deal with matters arising in relation to that application or
  • an application for compensation to be made under the NTA on their behalf by ‘the applicant’ and to give  the applicant the power to deal with matters arising in relation to that application or
  • an area agreement (a type of indigenous land use agreement) to be made.

The NTA sets out how authorisation is to be given (ss. 251A and 251B NTA).

body corporate agreement
a type of indigenous land use agreement that can only be made where there is one or more registered native title bodies corporate for the whole agreement area. This means that there must be at least one determination recognising the existence of native title in place in relation to the entire agreement area (ss. 24BA – 24BI NTA).

certification
The process by which the relevant native title representative body or bodies or appropriate native title service for an area can certify that the authorisation requirements of the Act have been met (s. 203BE NTA) in relation to: 

  • applications for a determination of native title and
  • area agreements (a type of indigenous land use agreement).

Native title service providers may also be able to perform the certification function (s. 230FEA NTA).

claimant application/claim see native title claimant application/claim
an application made by Aboriginal people or Torres Strait Islanders under the NTA for a determination that native title exists over a particular area of land or waters (s. 61(1) NTA).

Claimant applications under the NTA are often also referred to as 'native title claims' or 'native title determination applications'. They are filed in the Federal Court.

coexistence
the existence and exercise of native title rights alongside the rights of others over the same area of land or waters. For example, native title rights to go onto land and hold ceremonies may coexist with the rights of a pastoral leaseholder to graze cattle. Coexistence is about sharing the land and waters in a way that recognises everyone's rights and interests in the area.

common law holders
the persons the Federal Court proposes to include in a determination of native title as the native title holders (ss. 253 and 56(2) NTA).

compensation application
an application made by Aboriginal people or Torres Strait Islanders seeking compensation for loss or impairment of their native title (s. 61 NTA).

connection
the relationship that must be shown between Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders with the land and/or waters over which they want native title recognised. To establish connection the native title group must show that they have continued to observe and acknowledge, in a substantially uninterrupted way, the traditional laws and customs that give rise to their connection with the claim area from the time of the assertion of sovereignty by the British to the present day (s. 223(1)(b) NTA).

consent determination see Approved determination of native title
an approved determination of native title by the Federal Court or the High Courts of Australia or a recognised body that native title does or does not exist in relation to a particular area of land and/or waters, which is made after the parties have reached agreement in relation to those issues. To date the only bodies recognised under s. 207A of the NTA are the Supreme Court of South Australia and the Environment, Resources and Development Court of South Australia.

crown land see Unallocated State land
broadly, land not held under private ownership. It might be subject to rights granted by the Crown under legislation, such as a mining tenement. It may also be subject to native title.

delegate
an employee of the National Native Title Tribunal  given power to make decisions on behalf of the Native Title Registrar via a delegation (s. 99 NTA).

determination of native title see approved determination of native title

directions
Formal binding instructions to the parties from a court or tribunal made as part of the management of the case.