The spatial dimension of Aboriginal land tenure
AuthorBrazenor, Clare; Ogleby, Cliff; WILLIAMSON, IAN
Source TitleProceedings, 6th South East Asian Surveyors Congress
AffiliationEngineering: Department of Geomatics
Document TypeConference Paper
CitationsBrazenor, C., Ogleby, C., & Williamson, I. (1999). The spatial dimension of Aboriginal land tenure. In, Proceedings, 6th South East Asian Surveyors Congress, Fremantle, Western Australia.
Access StatusOpen Access
The unique relationship Aboriginal peoples have with the land has been highlighted in recent years with the passing of the Native Title Act 1993. The vastly different characteristics of Aboriginal land tenure to the Australian Torrens systems makes it difficult for the integration of the two tenure systems into one land registration system. A better understanding of Aboriginal land tenure and associated boundary definition is a vital first step towards mapping and documenting boundaries for the purposes of resolving native title disputes and developing institutional infrastructures that can better address the duality of tenure systems. Aboriginal land tenure boundaries have been mapped in the past by various anthropologists and historians. Mapping and definition of Aboriginal land boundaries by 'surveyors' are likely to provide alternative ways in which native title boundaries are determined, offering a different perspective on the spatial extent of Aboriginal land tenure. There is a need to accurately and unambiguously define the spatial extent of native title within the Australian cadastral system to support land based infrastructure and the future of native title. The paper highlights: • The characteristics and similarities/differences between the two tenure systems in a spatial context; • The current methods employed in defining and mapping Aboriginal land tenure boundaries and the appropriateness for the purpose of native title determination; • Possible ways in which Aboriginal land tenure could be defined and mapped in the future; and • Possible incorporation of Aboriginal land tenure into the current land administration and land registration systems of Australia.
KeywordsAboriginal land tenure; Australian cadastral system; Native Title; determination and delineation of native title claim areas
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