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Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Cth)

Category: Legislation
Binomial Name: Australian Commonwealth Government
Sub Category:Legislation
Location:Northern Territory, Australia
URL: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/alrta1976444/
Summary Information:
The Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Cth) (ALRA) is a Commonwealth Act with application to the Northern Territory of Australia. The ALRA provided for the granting of a fee simple interest in certain lands (set out in Schedule 1 to the ALRA) to Aboriginal Land Trusts and for the claiming of unalienated crown land by those groups of Aboriginal people who could prove (through a claims process before an Aboriginal Land Commissioner) that they were the traditional owners of such land.

The ALRA provides for the creation of at least two Aboriginal Land Councils to administer certain areas of land in the Northern Territory and for the creation of Aboriginal Land Trusts to hold freehold title to both Schedule 1 land and to land granted by way of a successful land claim.
Detailed Information:
The ALRA provides for the appointment of an Aboriginal Land Commissioner whose primary function was to receive applications made by or on behalf of Aboriginals 'claiming to have a traditional land claim to an area of land, being unalienated Crown land or alienated Crown land in which all estates and interests not held by the Crown are held by, or on behalf of, Aboriginals' (s 50(1)(a)). The role of the Commissioner was to 'ascertain whether those Aboriginals or any other Aboriginals are the traditional Aboriginal owners of the land'(s 50(1)(a)(i)).

If a claim was successful a fee simple grant of land was made to an Aboriginal Land Trust. An Aboriginal Land Trust holds title to land for the benefit of the Aboriginals concerned and acts in accordance with directions given by the relevant Land Council. Except in limited circumstances permitted under the ALRA it cannot dispose of land held by it, which means that, basically, land is held by a Land Trust by way of inalienable fee simple title.

The ALRA specified a 20-year period for claims to be lodged, which closed in 1997.

The ALRA contains provisions setting out the terms and conditions upon which mineral exploration licences, mining interests and other leases and interests can be granted over land held by an Aboriginal Land Trust.

Depending upon the nature of the interest granted over Aboriginal land and the nature of the agreement negotiated, there are various ways in which money is eventually received, via the relevant Land Council, by the relevant Aboriginal person or group over whose land the activity takes place.

In the case of royalties paid by mining companies to the Northern Territory or the Commonwealth Governments, the ALRA established the Aboriginals Benefit Reserve. The Reserve consists of funds taken from the Commonwealth Consolidated Revenue Fund, for amounts to equal any royalties received by the Commonwealth or the Northern Territory in respect of a mining interest in Aboriginal land. A percentage of the funds in the Reserve is distributed to the Land Councils for administrative purposes. A further percentage is paid to Aboriginal Councils the areas of which are included in the area affected by the relevant mining operations, or to Incorporated Aboriginal Associations the members of which live in or are the traditional Aboriginal owners of, the area affected by the relevant mining operations.

The ALRA controls entry onto Aboriginal Land and prohibits a person (other than an entitled Aboriginal person or group) from entering onto or remaining on Aboriginal land without a permit (s70). (A penalty of $1,000 applies). The Aboriginal Land Act 1992 (NT) operates concurrently with the ALRA and deals with entry onto Aboriginal land and control of entry into seas adjoining Aboriginal land.

In the same way entering onto or remaining on land that is a sacred site (other than by an entitled Aboriginal person or group) provokes a penalty of $1,000 (s69)(1)).

The Northern Territory Legislative Assembly has the power to enact legislation regarding Aboriginal land under the Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1978, which is effective to the extent it operates concurrently with the ALRA.

Related Entries

Agreement
  • Ewaninga Rock Carvings Conservation Reserve Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Kakadu National Park, The Northern Territory of Australia, Memorandum of Lease
  • Stokes Range Agreement
  • Benda Bluff & Collara Mts Agreement
  • South Nicholson River Agreement
  • Mt Lean Agreement
  • Wunara Exploration Deed
  • Uluru - Kata Tjuta National Park Memorandum of Lease
  • Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation Sports Fishing Management Agreement
  • Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation Safari Hunting Joint Venture
  • Tanami Mining Agreements
  • Alice Springs to Darwin Railway Agreement
  • Dhimurru Section 73 Agreement
  • Mereenie Oil and Gas Agreement
  • Ranger Uranium Project: Section 44 Agreement
  • Jabiluka Long-Term Care and Maintenance Agreement
  • Agreement between the Northern Land Council and the Director of National Parks and Wildlife
  • Giants Reef Exploration Pty Ltd Edna Beryl Agreement
  • Memorandum of Agreement between the Commonwealth and the Northern Territory on the Granting of Community Living Areas in Northern Territory Pastoral Districts
  • Simpson's Gap National Park Extension Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Emily and Jessie Gaps Nature Park - Heavitree Range Extension Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Gregory National Park CLC Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Trephina Gorge Nature Park Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Finke Gorge National Park Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Arltunga Historical Reserve Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Chamber's Pillar Historical Reserve Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Devil's Marbles Conservation Reserve Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • N'Dhala Gorge Nature Park Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Corroboree Rock Conservation Reserve Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Davenport Range National Park Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Gregory National Park NLC Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Kuyunba Conservation Reserve 2 Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Native Gap Conservation Reserve Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Watarrka National Park and Leaseback Area Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Rainbow Valley Conservation Reserve Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • West MacDonnell National Park Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Gregory's Tree Historical Reserve Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Gulin Gulin Buffalo Company Land Use Agreement
  • Memorandum of Understanding between Galarrwuy Yunupingu and the Commonwealth of Australia
  • Nguiu (Tiwi Islands) 99-Year Lease
  • Groote Eylandt Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) (Stage 1)
  • Groote Eylandt Regional Partnership Agreement (RPA) (Stage 2)
  • Frances Creek Iron Ore Project Mining Agreement
  • Renewal Mining Agreement between Groote Eylandt Mining Company and Anindilyakwa Land Council
  • Rio Tinto Alcan Gove Traditional Owners Agreement
  • Organisation
  • Northern Land Council
  • Uluru - Kata Tjuta Aboriginal Land Trust
  • Commonwealth of Australia
  • Central Land Council - Requirement
  • Gagadju Association
  • Gunlom Aboriginal Land Trust
  • Jawoyn Aboriginal Land Trust
  • Jabiluka Aboriginal Land Trust
  • Tiwi Land Council - Requirement
  • Northern Territory Seafood Council Inc
  • Thangkenharenge Aboriginal Land Trust
  • Wagiman (No 2) Aboriginal Land Trust
  • Yingualyalya Aboriginal Land Trust
  • Anurrete Aboriginal Land Trust
  • Wakaya Aboriginal Land Trust
  • Anindilyakwa Land Council
  • Event
  • Kalkaringi Statement
  • Wave Hill Walk-off
  • Ranger Uranium Environmental Inquiry (1976-1977)
  • Dhimurru Land Management Aboriginal Corporation Indigenous Protected Area Management Plan
  • Barrow Creek (Kaytetye) Land Transfer
  • Piccaninny Bore Land Transfer
  • Upper Daly Land Transfer
  • Hatches Creek Land Transfer
  • Wakaya Land Transfer
  • Legislation
  • Aboriginal Land Act 1992 (NT)
  • Northern Territory (Self-Government) Act 1978 (Cth)
  • Cobourg Peninsula Aboriginal Land and Sanctuary Act 1981 (NT)
  • Cobourg Peninsula Aboriginal Land, Sanctuary and Marine Park Act 1996 (NT)
  • Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park Act 1989 (NT)
  • Parks and Reserves (Framework for the Future) Act 2003 (NT)
  • Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Amendment Act 2002 (Cth) - Previous
  • People
  • Katherine Land Claim No. 240 Claimants
  • Peppimenarti Indigenous Community
  • Executive Director of Township Leasing
  • Place
  • Angus Downs Joint Management Indigenous Protected Area
  • Northern Tanami Indigenous Protected Area
  • Nitmiluk (Katherine Gorge) National Park
  • Case Law
  • Kenbi Land Claim
  • Gawirrin Gumana v Northern Territory of Australia (No. 2) [2005] FCA 50
  • Northern Territory of Australia & Anor v Arnhem Land Aboriginal Land Trust & Ors (2008) HCA 29 (Blue Mud Bay Case)
  • Policy/Strategy
  • Parks and Reserves (Framework for the Future) Bill 2003

  • References

    Book Chapter
    Mazel, O, (2006) 'Returning Parna Wiru: Restitution of the Maralinga Lands to Traditional Owners in South Australia' in Langton, Mazel, Palmer, Shain, Tehan (eds), Settling with Indigenous People: Modern treaty and agreement-making (The Federation Press, 2006).
    Resource
    Commonwealth of Australia (2001) Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976

    Glossary

    Legislation | Mining Agreement (Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Cth)) (Australia) | Exploration Agreement (Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Cth)) (Australia)

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