SPEEDING UP THE LAND CLAIMS PROCESS: STAGE 4
August 2, 2010
A major hurdle facing the NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) and Local Aboriginal Land Councils (LALCs) across the state is the government's new practice of transferring limited title to Land Councils following a successful land claim.
Limited title is transferred when the exact boundaries of a particular parcel of land are undetermined or uncertain, usually because the land in question hasn't yet been surveyed.
The Land and Property Management Authority (LPMA) started transferring limited titles in November 2009. Until this time, Land Councils had always received an ordinary, surveyed freehold title following a successful land claim.
If a limited title is issued by the LPMA, the value of the land in question is greatly reduced until expensive surveying work is completed.
In a nutshell...land is being transferred to Aboriginal people, who are essentially inheriting a bill for the surveying of the land.
Surveying costs vary, depending on the size of the land claimed, but can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
This practice severely limits the economic potential of claimed Aboriginal land.
Considering this, NSWALC has requested the LPMA cease delivering limited title to LALCs. NSWALC believes that the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983, which is about compensation for dispossession, requires the LMPA to transfer ordinary, surveyed, freehold title to LALCs.
NSWALC is calling on all LALCs to immediately reject any limited title offers from the Department.
Land Rights is designed to economically benefit Aboriginal people through commercial means...limited title completely stifles that purpose.
WHAT TO DO
At the site address listed below, LALCs will find a Fact Sheet explaining the ins and outs of limited title, and its effect on the Land Rights movement in NSW.
A pre-scripted campaign letter can also be downloaded from the site, which LALC Members are urged to complete and send via POST to their Local Member of Parliament. This will help raise awareness of the issues faced by all LALCs and NSWALC as well. It will also place pressure on the state government to cease handing down limited title to LALCs.
CONTACT: CHRIS MUNRO AT NSWALC, 0438 760 242