UNESCO World Heritage Listing of Aboriginal cultural landscape

Recently, the Budj Bim Cultural Landscape in Victoria became the first site in Australia accepted onto the UNESCO World Heritage List solely for Aboriginal cultural significance. The occasion presents a chance to reflect on what World Heritage listing means and how Australian environmental and cultural heritage legislation applies to Aboriginal cultural landscapes. Read more

Last opportunity for submissions on WA DWER’s draft Compliance and Enforcement Policy

Consultation closes this Friday, 20 September on the draft Compliance and Enforcement Policy of the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER). The policy is expected to guide DWER’s actions in relation to compliance and enforcement for environmental and water-related regulation. The policy will also assist industry in engaging with DWER on such matters and understanding DWER’s approach and the likely consequences of non-compliances. Read more

Native Title Act Reforms

On 21 February 2019, the Commonwealth government introduced the Native Title Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 (Cth) (Bill) to amend (amongst other legislation) the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) (NTA). The proposed amendments to the NTA are the most substantive since the ‘Wik’ amendments in 1998. To assist proponents in understanding the potential impact of the Bill, we have prepared a table that sets out proposed key amendments with the likely implications for existing and future development. Read more

A Methodology for the Calculation of Native Title Compensation

On 13 March 2019, the High Court handed down its first decision on native title compensation in ‘Timber Creek’ [2019] HCA 7 (Timber Creek).The High Court’s decision is a measured reflection of the need for Australian law to evolve in a manner that acknowledges, recognises and accommodates the diversity and individuality of native title in Australia. The majority judgment sensibly navigates the difficult task of applying common law legal concepts, such as compensation, freehold value, economic loss and solatium, in the context of traditional rights and interests, and connection to country. Read more