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Unformatted text preview: rait Islanders; and
the Aboriginal people or Torres Strait Islanders, by those laws and customs, have a connection
with the land and waters; and
the rights and interests are recognised by the common law of Australia. Native title isn’t a new form of title. The High Court in Mabo recognised property rights that Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander peoples have always possessed.
Australia’s recognition of native title in common law since 1992 is consistent with the recognition
given to indigenous peoples such as the Maoris in New Zealand and the Native Americans in Canada
and the United States. Where does native title exist?
The High Court didn’t say which parts of Australia were subject to native title, or even who holds native
title over any particular area/s. However, the High Court decision in Mabo suggests that native title may
still exist on:
• vacant Crown land;
• state forests;
• national parks;
• public reserves;
• beaches and foreshores;
• land held by government agencies; and
• land held in trust for Aboriginal communities.
In addition, native title may also exist in:
• oceans, reefs and seas; and
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