Aboriginal Land Trust

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In Australia, an Aboriginal Land Trust (ALT) is a type of non-profit organisation that holds the freehold title to an area of land on behalf of a community of Aboriginal Australians. The land has been legally granted to a community by the government under a perpetual lease, usually after the community makes a formal claim of traditional ownership. Land granted under Aboriginal title is inalienable; it can not be bought, sold, traded or given away. The Land Trust is the organisation appointed by the community to legally hold the title deeds.

Establishment and operation of Aboriginal land trusts[edit]

Several states and territories have enacted laws to establish Aboriginal Land Trusts, but not all.

Northern Territory[edit]

In the Northern Territory, Land Trusts are governed under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act, 1976, which also governs the way in which groups can make claims to land. The ALTs hold the title to land handed back to the traditional Aboriginal owners through the Land Rights Act.

South Australia[edit]

In South Australia, there is a single statutory body known as the Aboriginal Lands Trust. It was created under the Aboriginal Lands Trust Act 1966. It holds title to Aboriginal land in South Australia and oversees the management and control of those lands including the ability to issue a lease over lands for 99 years to an "incorporated community body". The Government of South Australia is also able to transfer other crown land to the control of the Trust.[1][2]

Western Australia[edit]

The Aboriginal Lands Trust in Western Australia was created by the Aboriginal Affairs Planning Authority Act 1972. It acquires and holds land and manages it for the benefit of Aboriginal communities. It holds about 27 million hectares (11%) of the state's land, most of which was previously held by the state government.[3] In Queensland, there are multiple Land Trusts. They were created under the state's Aboriginal Land Act 1991.


  1. ^ "About us". Aboriginal Lands Trust. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  2. ^ "Aboriginal Lands Trust". Agreements, Treaties and Negotiated Settlements Project. Indigenous Studies Program, The University of Melbourne. Retrieved 2 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Aboriginal Lands Trust". Government of Western Australia, Department of Indigenous Affairs. Archived from the original on 9 April 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2013.

External links[edit]