Property & Native Title

The Property & Native Title practice group provides specialist advice and assistance to NSW Government agencies in the areas of property law, native title law and aboriginal land claims.

In relation to property law, our areas of expertise encompass:

  • Crown land – for example, the identification and management of Crown land and compliance with the Crown Land Management Act 2016
  • complex property transactions
  • land acquisitions (including vesting and compulsory acquisitions)
  • property law reforms
  • property litigation (including compulsory acquisition matters in the Land and Environment Court)
  • land valuation litigation in the Land and Environment Court.

In relation to native title and aboriginal land claims, the practice group provides advice and representation in all native title and Aboriginal land rights matters for the State. This encompasses advising agencies on:

  • issues relating to native title under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and claims under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 in the context of commercial transactions and land vestings between agencies
  • Indigenous land use agreements
  • State actions that may impact native title or an aboriginal land claim.

Examples of our work for clients

  • Representing agencies in a range of property litigation matters, often with whole-of-government implications and precedential significance, including the following compulsory acquisition matters:
    • Landan Development Pty Ltd v Sydney Metro
    • Opera Australia v Sydney Metro
    • Altomonte Holdings Pty Ltd v Sydney Metro [2019] NSWLEC 65.
  • Acting for the Attorney General as the State Minister for Native Title in NSW, and other affected government agencies, in relation to the finalisation of a long running native title claimant application brought by the Gumbaynggirr People in relation to land near Coffs Harbour.  This determination involved many years of negotiation and collaboration between government agencies, third parties such as councils, native title holders and their representatives and Aboriginal land councils.  The proceedings culminated in a native title determination, an indigenous land use agreement and an Aboriginal Land Agreement.