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Investor’s Guide to Northern Australia


As part of our commitment to the Australian Government's policy to develop the northern Australian economies, Austrade has developed a guide to investing in northern Australia, designed with the needs of international investors in mind. It includes detailed information on land tenure, including native title arrangements and also provides high-level information on engaging and partnering effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, organisations and communities across northern Australia.

A key element of this is an investor-focused online interactive map produced by Austrade and Data61 with data on the different forms of land tenure across northern Australia and information on mining, renewables, infrastructure, soil, climate, tourism and agriculture opportunities. This information is intended to help assist investors, project proponents and other stakeholders to understand culturally responsive engagement approaches with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are diverse and have different beliefs, customs, traditions, social structures and cultural practices. As such, investors should tailor their approach to the community (or nation) with which they would like to engage or partner.

What does 'culturally responsive engagement' mean?

Connection to family, community, land and place is important to the spiritual and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Culturally responsive engagement means treating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with respect and dignity and recognising their unique relationship to the land, sea and waterways.

Engagement practices and approaches should be culturally sensitive, respectful and flexible and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be informed and receive timely responses about potential, existing and future negotiations and engagement processes; and the right to be actively engaged in decision-making.

Consistent advice and detailed information should be provided to traditional owners about engagement and negotiation processes, and the right to have a chosen representative and/or advocate at all meetings and negotiations should be made clear.

It is important to ensure engagement practices empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to make informed decisions about all options available, and that respect is maintained for privacy and confidentiality by all stakeholders involved in collecting and storing information.

Austrade's Investor's Guide to Land Tenure in Northern Australia can be found on the Austrade website.

Last Updated: 10 January 2019
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