economy (Altman 2009 cited in Russell 2011) (see section on commercial businesses).Tradeable assetsAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have negotiated land use agreements withgovernments and others (for example, mining companies and pastoralists). Theseagreements can yield benefits in the form of monetary payments; support for communityservices, facilities and infrastructure; employment and training programs; and protection ofcultural sites. Amendments to the Tax Laws Act in June 2013 helped clarify the taxationtreatment of native title benefits by stating that these benefits are not subject to income tax(including capital gains tax). This may assist Aboriginal and Torres Strait IslanderAustralians to unlock the economic potential of their native title (NNTT unpublished).9Eco-services and land management9In an attempt to quantify the potential economic benefits that native title can deliver to Indigenouscommunities, a House of Representatives inquiry into the taxation treatment of native title benefitsreported that mining companies are paying $200 million annually to Indigenous communities in thePilbara (House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics 2013).9.18OVERCOMING INDIGENOUS DISADVANTAGE 2014
Many Commonwealth, State and Territory programs recognise and employ Aboriginal andTorres Strait Islander Australian’s land management skills, through joint management ofconservation reserves, national parks and marine parks. Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) are areas of Indigenous-owned land or sea wheretraditional owners have agreed with the Australian Government to promote biodiversityand cultural resource conservation. As at January 2014, there were 51 agreements in place,spanning over 36 million hectares (Department of the Environment 2014). IPA agreementsprovide funding that can be used to employ Aboriginal and Torres Strait IslanderAustralians to undertake the work required to meet the goals of the IPA. Commercial businesses Enterprise development, utilising the natural resources found on Indigenous owned orcontrolled land, provides opportunities for economic development whilst allowingAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to maintain close connection to the landand maintain customary practices (Bawinanga Aboriginal Corporation 2007; Fordham,Fogarty and Fordham 2010). Examples of natural resource enterprises include: carbonabatement programs and eco-services; wildlife ventures involving the collection of nativeanimals and plants for the medicine, bush food and pet trades; tourism businesses; artenterprises; and pastoral businesses such as beef cattle enterprises and orchards. Things that workA case study of a promising program that supports Indigenous owned or controlled land ispresented in box 9.2.3.ECONOMIC PARTICIPATION9.19
Box 9.2.3Things that work — Indigenous owned or controlled landAlthough the outcomes have not been formally evaluated, the Steering Committee hasidentified the Indigenous Landholder Services as a promising program worth furtherexamination.