Gadens Lawyers' Aboriginal Business Group is helping project developers in the resources industry to work with Queensland's Indigenous groups.
In recent months, Gadens has facilitated the negotiation of nine Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) between Aboriginal groups and resources companies undertaking major coal seam gas related projects in Queensland. The work of Gadens' Aboriginal Business Group is growing in line with Queensland's LNG boom, which is expected to inject more than $40 billion and 18,000 additional jobs to the state's economy.
The ILUAs allow resources companies to undertake activities in areas affected by native title, but also provide for the relevant Indigenous groups to be compensated for the impacts on their native title rights and interests.
Gadens' partner in the Aboriginal Business Group, Sarah Toohey, said the compensation packages included a range of financial and non-financial benefits intended to provide long term benefits for traditional owner communities.
"Native title is a very complex and sensitive area of the law," Toohey said. "The role of Gadens' Aboriginal Business Group is to liaise with all parties to strike an effective and fair compromise."
Toohey explained how Gadens has represented the interests of Aboriginal groups while providing the opportunity for corporations to obtain approval required for their projects, avoiding the costly, time consuming process of seeking compulsory acquisition of native title rights and interests.