Land tenure and availability

Aboriginal freehold land

Aboriginal freehold land is unique to the Northern Territory (NT). It does not exist in any other state or territory in Australia.

It came into being in 1976 when the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act (ALRA) was passed, converting former Aboriginal reserves into permanent Aboriginal freehold.

Aboriginal freehold land is inalienable freehold title, meaning it cannot be sold. It is referred to as 'schedule one' land, and is formally held by an Aboriginal land trust.

Exploration and mining

To explore or mine for minerals or petroleum on Aboriginal freehold land, your application must follow the process under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976.

Read more on exploration on Aboriginal freehold land or mining on Aboriginal freehold land.


For more information, contact the Native Title and Aboriginal Land Rights Unit by calling 08 8999 5322 or emailing

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Last updated: 07 September 2020

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