The Australian pastoral lease is a complex form of landholding. In the one piece of land there can be in excess of five stakeholders. The pastoral lessee is one of these, as are the native title holders. In addition, there may be a minerals title holder and even a petroleum title holder. Then there is the Crown. The Crown’s interests in a pastoral lease are manifold. The Crown has an interest as the regulatory agency; it has an interest as the lessor. The aim of this paper is to posit that the Crown should cede its interest as lessor in the pastoral estate to the native title holders. In support of this proposition it is argued that the Crown’s interest in pastoral lands is sufficiently supported by its position as regulator without the need to invoke its position as lessor. By contrast the vesting of the reversion in pastoral leases in the native title holders would both accord some justice to dispossessed Traditional Owners and facilitate the greater development of business partnerships between the two landholders, the pastoralist lessee and the native title holding lessor. Such partnerships, it is maintained, would provide a more desirable foundation from which to attract third party investment and facilitate the greater development of the pastoral and Indigenous estates. The paper will explore this proposition having regard to current policies enunciated in the North Australian White Paper and existing native title jurisprudence.
|Specialist publication||Native Title News|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2019|