What are Land Rights in NSW?

The Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW) provides a mechanism for compensating the Aboriginal People of NSW for the loss of their land.

Native title rights and interests differ from land rights in several ways. Land Rights are granted in the form of freehold land where the Minister administering the Crown Lands Act NSW decides that the land is “claimable land” for the purposes of the Aboriginal Land Rights Act (NSW). Native Title Rights and Interests are granted by the Federal Court in the form of specific rights and interests in land and waters where those rights and interests are determined to have been held in an ongoing way and in accordance with an acknowledged and observed system of traditional law and custom since before the British asserted sovereignty over Australia. Native Title Claims which are successfully settled by agreement, such as with an Indigenous Land Use Agreement, can also include benefits such as the grant of freehold land and in some cases compensation.

Some examples of Native Title Rights and Interests which have been recognised by the Court are set out below:

  • The right to access;
  • The right to camp;
  • The right to live on certain land;
  • The right to hunt;
  • The right to gather and use resources;
  • The right to fish; and
  • The right to speak for country.