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​​About native title applications

Native Title Applications are applications made to the Federal Court under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

Types of native title claims

Claimant

A claimant application is made by a group of people, a native title claim group, who declare they hold rights and interests in an area of land and/or water according to their traditional laws and customs.
 
The members of the native title claim group are seeking a decision from the Court that native title exists, so their rights and interests are recognised by the common law of Australia. This is called a native title determination. A determination is a decision by the Federal Court or 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.
 
If the Court finds that native title rights and interests exist, the group must set up a prescribed body corporate to hold the rights and interests, as an agent, or in trust, for the group.

Non-claimant

A non-claimant application is made by a person who holds a non native title interest in an area of land and/or water. This could be the Commonwealth or a State, or a person or organisation that holds a lease or licence.
 
A non-claimant applicant is seeking a decision from the Court as to whether native title exists in relation to the area of land and/or water covered by the application.
 
Non-claimant applications cannot be made in areas where it has already been determined that native title exists. To work out whether native title has been determined over a particular area, you can conduct a search through the native title search page or by requesting a search from the NNTT.
 
In most cases it will not be necessary for a person or an organisation making a non-claimant application to obtain a determination of native title.  This is because where a non-claimant is unopposed, protection for doing the future act will apply under section 24FA of the Native Title Act.
 
Non-claimant applications are most frequently made in New South Wales. The Non-claimant applications in NSW factsheet  provides more information on this topic. 

Compensation

A compensation application is made by a registered native title body corporate, or a group of people who assert they hold native title rights and interests to an area.
 
The compensation claim group is seeking compensation from the Commonwealth, or the relevant State or Territory, for acts that have extinguished or impaired the native title rights and interests of the group.

Revised determination

A revised determination application is made by a registered native title body corporate, the Commonwealth, the State or the Native Title Registrar, seeking to revoke or vary an approved determination of native title.