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Reconciliation or exclusion? Integrating indigenous and non-indigenous land management concepts for Australia’s Native Title era

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Indigenous and non-indigenous concepts of land ownership and use are fundamental elements in Australian debate on the implications of Native Title for development. However these approaches are not necessarily incompatible but can be reconciled. Drawing on evidence from the central Australian rangelands, this paper argues that the adaptations of land use practised by indigenous people, who have converted their land tenure from pastoral leasehold to Aboriginal freehold land, suggest that such reconciliation is possible and practical. Provision of appropriate support tools, such as participatory extension for improved land management, or community land management planning, strengthen the integration of indigenous and non-indigenous land management approaches. Successful integration will be essential for the management of Australia’s rangelands under Native Title.

Keywords: Australia; Indigenous land ownership; community development; land management

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: National Centre for Development Studies, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Management, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Publication date: August 1, 1999


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