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Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 and Land Use Activity Agreements

The Victorian Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (the Act) provides for an out-of-court settlement of native title. The Act allows the Victorian Government to recognise traditional owners and certain rights in Crown land. In return for entering into a settlement, traditional owners must agree to withdraw any native title claim pursuant to the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and not to make any future native title claims.

Under the Act, a settlement package can include a Land Use Activity Agreement (LUAA) which allows traditional owners to comment on or consent to certain activities on public land. The Land Use Activity Regime is a simplified alternative to the future acts regime of the Native Title Act 1993.

The LUAA provides procedural rights for recognised traditional owner groups over certain activities that occur on public land. The objective is to enable these activities to proceed, while accommodating third party interests and respecting the rights of traditional owners attached to the public land.

Dja Dja Wurrung Land Use Activity Agreement

The Victorian Government and the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation (on behalf of the Dja Dja Wurrung traditional owner group) have entered into a 'Recognition and Settlement Agreement' (RSA) which formally recognises the Dja Dja Wurrung people as the traditional owners for part of Central Victoria.

The agreement commenced on 24 October 2013 and is the first comprehensive settlement under the Victorian Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010. Following the implementation of the Dja Dja Wurrung Land Use Activity Agreement (LUAA), the Regional ILUA between the Dja Dja Wurrung People and the Minerals Council of Australia ceased to be available for new applicants.

The Victorian Government is currently undertaking negotiations towards Recognition and Settlement Agreements with various traditional owner groups across Victoria and is seeking to reach agreements with these groups over the course of the next few years. Further details about the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 and LUAA can be found on the Department of Justice and Regulation website.

Please note that the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources will not grant a licence on Crown until requirements of the Native Title Act 1993 and/or the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 are satisfied. Where an application is partly or wholly covered by a Recognition and Settlement Agreement area, the applicant may elect to excise all Crown land subject to native title from their application area. As unmade roads within the Dja Dja Wurrung RSA are subject to the Dja Dja Wurrung LUAA, the excision of Crown land subject to native title will include unmade roads.

For inquiries regarding tenements please contact the Licensing team. For general information regarding native title, please contact James O'Callaghan, Native Title Coordinator on (03) 5336 6645.