Land tenure and availability

Native title

Australia's Aboriginal peoples have common law rights to their traditional land and waters.

Read more on the Native Title Act 1993.

Where it has been legally recognised, native title gives Aboriginal people the right to:

  • live and camp in an area
  • conduct ceremonies
  • hunt and fish
  • collect food
  • build shelters
  • visit places of cultural importance.

Native title exists over pastoral land. It does not exist over Northern Territory (NT) freehold land or Crown land used for public:

  • roads
  • railways
  • buildings.

Exploration and mining

All applications to explore or mine on native title affected land are subject to the processes laid out in the Native Title Act 1993.

Read more on exploration and mining on native title affected 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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