Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia)


The Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) is a voluntary agreement between a native title group and others about the use and management of land and waters.

Extended Definition

Under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) (the NTA or Act), a registered ILUA is legally binding on the people who are party to the agreement and all native title holders for that area even if they were not involved in the agreement. The ILUA provisions were included as part of the 1998 amendments to the NTA. An agreement must comply with a selection of requirements under the NTA and the Native Title (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Regulations 1999 (Cth), in order to be registered as an ILUA on the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements, which is maintained by the Native Title Registrar at the National Native Title Tribunal. ILUAs allow people to negotiate agreements to suit their particular circumstances. They can be made separately from the formal native title process, but may also be a step towards or part of native title determinations. An ILUA can be an Alternative Procedure Agreement, an Area Agreement or a Body Corporate Agreement.

ILUAs are intended to:
- encourage certainty and cost effectiveness in the making of agreements;
- establish a process of registration, objection and resolution of objections by the Tribunal or an equivalent body;
- bind all native title parties regardless of whether they were parties to an agreement, including future generations;
- provide contractual validity and increased security for parties to the agreement;
- allow for wide consideration of Indigenous and other rights and interests in land;
- encourage practical solutions to competing land use management issues;
- enable native title agreements to be reached without the necessity of immediate resolution of legal issues, such as the determinations of native title or extinguishment;
- enable agreements that are subject to agreed lawful conditions or arrangements;
- limit the level of compensation for acts affecting native title to levels negotiated under an ILUA.

There are three different types of ILUAs:

Body corporate agreements:
These are restricted to areas where one or more registered native title bodies corporate hold native title over the entire area subject to an agreement. Such bodies corporate may make agreements with any other person.

Area agreements:
These may be applicable in situations where there is no native title body corporate for the whole area.

Alternative procedure agreements:
These may apply in any situation where there is no native title body corporate for the whole area, although there must be a Native Title Representative Body (NTRB) or body corporate for the area. In addition to the wide range of matters that may be covered by the other types of ILUAs, an alternative procedure agreement may provide a framework for other agreements about native title rights and interests, but, because it is not a requirement that native title holders are parties to such an agreement, cannot provide for the extinguishment of native title.
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