This paper will briefly describe the history and intent of the NTA 1993; survey outcomes flowing from its implementation, especially in reference to economic implications of agreements between parties; and consider future prospects, particularly by reference to the amended legislation which came into force on 30 September 1998. The use of case studies will illustrate a highly varied range of positive outcomes, which might be seen as revealing a new willingness on the part of Australian society generally to engage positively with Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders on a scale not envisaged prior to the High Court’s Mabo decision in 1992. The paper considers the participation of the broader community and the acknowledgment of existing rights and interests, and includes reference to the issues of willingness and good faith on behalf of parties and government. It will be argued that the NTA 1993 is driving a process of reconciliation through the forging of new relationships, understanding and respect; awakening the country to opportunities for partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians; and generally providing a force for economic recovery and independence from social welfare among Indigenous communities. Among other matters, the amended legislation promotes new opportunities for dealing with land and resource management issues in regional or area settings. Such Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) have the potential to become broadly-used instruments for ensuring that native title and resource development become more closely related in terms of long-run regional partnerships deriving from an agreements culture, rather than being viewed as onerous matters to be dealt with - or avoided - according to the letter of the law. Reference will be made to an emerging literature on native title and resource management.


Downloads Statistics

Download Full History