Native Title

Native title has been on the Australian legal landscape for more than a decade, generating many practical issues for the mineral, oil and gas exploration, production and infrastructure industries, as well as for financiers, pastoralists, governments and Indigenous communities.

Australian states and territories continue to implement reforms and restructures of their native title frameworks and policies, to continue the push toward greater efficiencies in the native title process. Allens continues to work with key players to find solutions to native title issues, including commercial agreements with Indigenous communities. Cultural heritage is also an emerging area, where Allens is increasingly helping clients to navigate through state legislation and helping to negotiate and draft Cultural Heritage Management Plans for a wide range of projects.

If you are dealing with a native title or cultural heritage issue, we offer specialist expertise on crucial aspects such as security of title, legal interpretation of the native title legislation, negotiation with Indigenous communities, disclosure requirements and compensation liability. We can also monitor proceedings for clients.

Our lawyers regularly advise on native title and cultural heritage issues relating to major projects, particularly in the resources sector, and how companies might navigate the complex Future Acts Regime. Often, such projects involve the construction or establishment of substantial infrastructure such as dams, water pipelines, railways, ports, gas pipelines, electricity lines and power stations.

We have been involved from the early days of the legislation, seeking outcomes that create certainty for our clients. We work with you to formulate positive strategies and can negotiate on your behalf to achieve commercially viable arrangements rather than drawn-out court proceedings. Alternatively, we can also conduct any required court proceedings. Members of our pre-eminent team make it their business to stay abreast of developments in native title legislation and case law.

Experience you can count on

Key industry players in the various industries seek our advice to find solutions to native title issues, including commercial agreements with Indigenous communities.

Our experienced team includes some of the leading legal authorities in the field. We were involved with the landmark Wik litigation and continue to advise on many of Australia's most significant native title and cultural heritage matters.

Together with members of our resources, commercial litigation and environment and planning groups, we provide a complete legal service for clients.