Native Title Claims
Native title claims are 'native title determination applications' filed by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders (native title claimants) in the Federal Court of Australia. Each application is a Federal Court proceeding seeking a determination as to whether native title exists or not and if so in what form.
The Federal Court refers each application to the National Native Title Tribunal Registrar for a range of administrative processes under the Native Title Act 1993 (NTA). The first process is an assessment known as the ‘registration test’. If the application meets all the conditions of the registration test it becomes a 'registered claim' and provides the claimants with a set of procedural rights. However, an unregistered claim is still be able to proceed towards a determination of native title.
To learn more about these procedural rights or how to apply see the National Native Title Tribunal's webpage on native title claim applications.
Native Title Claims in Western Australia
In Western Australia, the combined area of registered and determined native title claims covers approximately ninety eight percent of the State’s land mass, with some also covering inter-tidal zones and sea areas. There are approximately eighty outstanding registered native title claims in Western Australia.
As of early 2011 there has been twenty consent determinations and six litigated determinations of native title in Western Australia.
View a map of Native Title Applications and Determinations in Western Australia (PDF 1.81mb)
To manage claims efficiently the State, the National Native Title Tribunal, and Native Title Representative Bodies meet to prioritise claims. Factors which influence the prioritisation of a claim include:
- the amount of research required to support the claim
- whether parts of the claim have already been resolved through previous mediation or litigation
- overlaps with other claims and
- future development for the region
To assist claim management the State is divided into six regions, with Claims Officers responsible for the oversight of each region and Claims Managers responsible for the management of priority claims. Select the region below to find out what native title applications and determinations currently exist.
If you have a query about the management of a specific claim please contact us. Alternatively for the details of native title applications and native title determinations use the National Native Title Tribunal Registers, information includes:
- the date the application was filed
- whether or not the application is registered
- a description of the location of the area under claim, including local government regions
- the status of the application (whether it is active or finalised, in mediation etc)
Access the NNTT Registers.