Territory Stories

Overcoming indigenous disadvantage - key indicators



Overcoming indigenous disadvantage - key indicators


Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




The OID report measures the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians have been actively involved in the development and production of the report. Section 1.1 describes the origins of the report, and section 1.2 describes its key objectives. Section 1.3 provides contextual information on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. Section 1.4 includes a brief historical narrative to help put the information in the report into context. Section 1.5 summarises some recent developments in government policy that have influenced the report and section 1.6 provides further information on the Steering Committee and the OID Working Group that advises it.


"These reports generally uses the term ‘Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians’ to describe Australia’s first peoples and ‘non-Indigenous Australians’ to refer to Australians of other backgrounds, except where quoting other sources." Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this publication may contain images of deceased people.

Table of contents

Preliminaries -- Overview chapter -- Introduction -- The framework -- Key themes and interpretation -- COAG targets and headline indicators -- Governance, leadership and culture -- Early child development -- Education and training -- Healthy lives -- Economic participation -- Home environment -- Safe and supportive communities -- Outcomes for Torres Strait Islander people -- Measuring factors that improve outcomes -- Appendices.




Aboriginal Australians -- Ecoomic conditions; Aboriginal Australians -- Social conditions; Public welfare administration -- Australia; Aboriginal Australians -- Services for; Closing the Gap of Indigenous Disadvantage (Australia)

Publisher name

Australia. Productivity Commission for the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision

Place of publication

Canberra (A.C.T.)


5 volumes (various pagings) : charts, colour map ; 30 cm.

File type



9781740375917 (Print); 9781740375900 (PDF)


1448-9805 (Print); 2206-9704 (Online)



Copyright owner

Australia. Productivity Commission for the Steering Committee for the Review of Government Service Provision



Parent handle


Citation address


Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/445153; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/445154; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/445156; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/445151

Page content

9.12 OVERCOMING INDIGENOUS DISADVANTAGE 2016 Nationally in 2016, Indigenous owned or controlled land comprised 16.1 per cent of the area of Australia (table 9A.2.1), with nearly all (98.0 per cent) in very remote areas (table 9A.2.2). These data measure the area of land held under different forms of title.5 However, land area is an imperfect indicator of the economic benefits that may be derived from land. Much of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owned or controlled land in Australia is of great cultural significance but low commercial value. Indigenous Land Corporation purchases The ILC purchases land for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians that cannot be acquired via other means (for example, land that is not available for claim under native title). Between 1995 and 30 June 2015, the ILC acquired 251 properties (of which 189 have been divested), covering almost 6 billion hectares, in remote, rural and urban locations (ILC 2015 p.25) (see table 9A.2.12 for a map of the ILCs land acquisition activity). An Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) audit in 2013 found that whilst acquisition and divestment results were lower than the ILC targets, the ILC had managed to acquire a diverse range of properties, but noted that the timely and successful divestment of properties (to Indigenous organisations/corporations) was recognised by the ILC as a recurring issue (ANAO 2013). Native title In 1992, the High Court of Australia decided in the Mabo case that the common law of Australia would recognise native title.6 This decision led to the Commonwealth Native Title Act 1993, which provided a process for native title claims to be determined through the court system. The Federal Court or another individual or body can mediate a claim (Coombs 2012). Native title provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians with communal rights and interests, with varying levels of control and management of lands and waters. Native title varies according to the rights and interests under the groups traditional laws and customs, and the extent to which a government has created or asserted rights that are inconsistent with any claimed native title right. Table 9A.2.9 illustrates the potential effect of existing broad land tenure on the existence of native title, and shows that, as at 30 June 2015, the majority of NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania have extinguished native title (meaning all native title rights are lost under Australian law). Applications for determinations of native title commence as proceedings in the Federal Court and remain until they are resolved through determination, withdrawal, strike-out or 5 This includes land that is freehold (alienable and inalienable), leasehold, Crown, licenced, and Aboriginal Deed of Grant in Trust, as well as land for which tenure was not stated. 6 Native title is the recognition in Australian law that some Indigenous people continue to hold rights to their land and waters, which come from their traditional laws and customs (NNTT 2009).

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

We use temporary cookies on this site to provide functionality.
By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you consent to our use of cookies.