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Aboriginal land

Native lands

Native Title

Following the introduction of the Commonwealth Native Title Act 1993, resulting from the High Court Mabo judgement, Aboriginal people are now able to seek recognition of their Native Title to land.

Native Title is the name Australian law gives to the traditional ownership of land and waters that have always belonged to Aboriginal people according to their traditions, laws and customs. These rights are different to and separate from the statutory right of Aboriginal Land Councils to make claims for land under the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983.

The Commonwealth Government administers native Title. If you would like more information about native title, please contact the National Native Title Tribunal at or T: 1800 640 501 free call.

Aboriginal land claims

Through the NSW Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983, vacant Crown land not lawfully used or occupied or required for an essential purpose or for residential land, is returned to Aboriginal people.

Aboriginal land rights aim to redress past injustices when Aboriginal people were dispossessed of their land by colonisation. This dispossession led to many social, economic and physical problems for Aboriginal people.

Department of Primary Industries - Lands investigates and assesses Aboriginal Land Claims across the State.

Further Information

For further information contact:

Aboriginal Land Claims Unit

P | 02 6883 3396

E |

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