|The Aboriginal Lands Act 1995 (Tas) (the Act) is an 'Act to promote reconciliation with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community by granting to Aboriginal people certain parcels of land of historic or cultural significance' (long title). The Act came into operation on 14 November 1995. The Act acknowledges the dispossession of the Indigenous people of Tasmania and provides for the establishment of an elected Aboriginal Land Council to hold and manage lands of cultural and historical significance. The Act sets out the functions and powers of the Council (see Division 3, section 18). The Council is:
'(a) to use and sustainably manage Aboriginal land and its natural resources for the benefit of all Aboriginal persons;
(b) to exercise, for the benefit of all Aboriginal persons, the Council's powers as owner of Aboriginal land;
(c) to prepare management plans in respect of Aboriginal land;
(d) to use and sustainably manage any other land in which the Council acquires an interest;
(e) such other functions as are imposed on it by or under this Act or any other Act.'
The Council is to perform its functions for the benefit of all Aboriginal people and in the interests of reconciliation with the broader Tasmanian community. The Act sets out provisions regarding the staffing, finances, and land to be vested in the Council (see Schedule 3).
The Act vests in the Council 12 parcels of culturally significant land, accepted by elders of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, at:
-Big Dog Island;
-Wargata Mina Cave;
-Kuti Kina Cave;
-Steep Head Island;
-Mount Cameron West (now Preminghana);
-Cape Barren Island; and