Claiming thin air
: is there a case for native title in radio spectrum?

  • Shane Darren Motlap

    Student thesis: Masters by Research - CDU


    The question of whether a plausible case for native title in radio spectrum exists in Australia is not yet fully understood. The relevant literature is lacking in both breadth and depth. To date, no case has been developed and tested in the courts. Subsequently this thesis examined whether a plausible case could be constructed that demonstrates native title in radio spectrum in Australia. This thesis proposed that native title exists in radio spectrum, but is yet to be proven in Australian law; particularly when considerations are given to impediments as represented by the current government and by the current structure of native title legislation and its processes. Since there was a scarcity of available literature on the concept of native title in radio spectrum, and the fact that there was no relevant precedent that existed in Australian law, a comparative study of Maori rights in radio spectrum in New Zealand was undertaken to a) provide both an initial reference point for Indigenous Australians to consider if they were to pursue native title in radio spectrum, and b) to gauge the applicability of the Maori experience to the legislative conditions currently facing Indigenous Australians who might wish to express native title rights in radio spectrum. Eventually, the findings of this thesis support the existence of native title in radio spectrum; however, this cannot be expressed at the present time. Consequently, Indigenous Australians are strongly encouraged to pursue this issue with an enduring view to achieve economic and wider parity enjoyed by other Australians.
    Date of AwardMar 2006
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorRam Vemuri (Supervisor)

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