We represented Banana, Central Highlands, Maranoa and Western Downs Council in Indigenous Land Use Agreement (‘ILUA’) negotiations with the Iman People that addressed future tenure grants and the future development in Wandoan.

Key issues and challenges:

Negotiations with a large claim group through its applicants was complex, and although Marrawah Law through Senior Associate Deanna Cartledge had a strong and robust relationship with the Aboriginal party and its applicants, negotiations could be very difficult and slow at times given the sensitivity of the issues being discussed particularly relating to intra-indigenous disputes.

The most challenging part of this project was ensuring all parties understood all the complex issues involved and that options proposed reflected what was sought practically by all the parties.

Addressing both common and peculiar needs of each Council as distinct parties to the native title proceeding also required careful management.

Approach we took:

Our lawyers were key drafters and legal advisors to local governments in the formulation of the template Local Government ILUA, that is used across local government in Queensland. The Iman People were one of the groups consulted in the development of the template ILUA, so this was used as the starting point for negotiations.

As there were a number of Councils as parties, the agreement was negotiated to provide consistency in approach wherever practicable, but also enable specific Councils to address particular land tenure issues as well.

There were funding restrictions in place so where possible negotiations took place between the legal representatives and when required, every few months, a meeting would take place with all parties to discuss issues yet to be resolved. Communication protocols were developed to assist the parties.

Outcomes and benefits for client / achievements:

A registered ILUA that addresses native title and Aboriginal cultural heritage compliance issues for Councils into the future for the ILUA area, and also enabled a particular land development project to proceed within a specific local government area. The ILUA also supported the resolution of the Iman People native title claim by consent.

Innovation / innovative thinking:

Our lawyers were key drafters and legal advisors to local governments in the formulation of the template Local Government ILUA, now used by nearly all Queensland local governments for native title claim resolution purposes. The template was the subject of assessment and commendation as best practice by the Australian Human Rights Commission in its 2008 Native Title Report to the Commonwealth Parliament.

To better educate and inform clients we work with regularly we provide training on all native title compliance options including through the highly regarded Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia Queensland. The course includes Native Title and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Compliance for Infrastructure Projects. We are also currently in the process of developing a new training program for the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, on behalf of Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), relating to Advancing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Interests in land use planning.

If you have a Native Title enquiry or would like to find out more information about our Indigenous legal services, then please give us a call on (07) 4041 3088 for a no obligation discussion. ☎️