Native Title Management

Within Western Australia the granting of mining and exploration tenure including the submission of applications to the future act procedures of the Commonwealth Native Title Act 1993 (NTA) to ensure validity of title is administered by the State Government.

Western Australia is exposed to the responsibilities of Native Title more than any other Territory or State in Australia. Approximately 85 per cent of the State is subject to either a Native Title claim, or has already received a Federal Court of Australia Native Title determination that recognises the existence of those rights and interests.

Western Australia also grants the highest number of land and mineral titles in Australia, the majority of which must comply with the future act regime of the NTA.

Guidelines for consultation with Indigenous people and right to negotiate

The State Government is committed to resolving Native Title through negotiation and agreement. In 2011 the Government Indigenous Land Use Agreement (Government ILUA) was introduced into the mediation of Native Title claims. The Government ILUA seeks to balance all interests and provides Native Title holders with expanded opportunities.

Guidelines for consultation with Indigenous people and right to negotiate documents here within the Department of Mines and Petroleum's (DMP) website will assist in dealing with Native Title matters.

Native Title negotiations

Native Title negotiations for mineral exploration and mining projects are managed by the department’s Tenure and Native Title Branch, with Liaison Officers based in Perth, Kalgoorlie, Broome and Karratha.

For petroleum exploration and production projects, Native Title negotiations are managed by the department’s Petroleum and Royalties Division. Further information is available within the department’s website.

Native Title negotiations for industrial projects are facilitated by the Western Australian Department of Lands. The State Land Services section of that department can advise developers in respect to Native Title issues.

Native Title Claims

The Western Australian Land Information Authority (Landgate) can advise if a registered Native Title claim or determination of native title has been made in the area of a proposed project. If Native Title interests exist negotiations may be required with both the State Government and registered native title claimants or Native Title Body Corporates.