Land tenures as policy instruments: transitions on Cape York Peninsula

Holmes, John (2011) Land tenures as policy instruments: transitions on Cape York Peninsula. Geographical Research, 49 2: 217-233. doi:10.1111/j.1745-5871.2011.00692.x

Author Holmes, John
Title Land tenures as policy instruments: transitions on Cape York Peninsula
Journal name Geographical Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1745-5863
Publication date 2011-05
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1745-5871.2011.00692.x
Open Access Status
Volume 49
Issue 2
Start page 217
End page 233
Total pages 17
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Language eng
Abstract Over the last four decades, Australia's most remote marginal lands have provided an expansive space towards realisation of emergent national goals, involving recognition of Aboriginal land rights together with protection of 'wilderness' and semi-natural ecosystems. This has been achieved by the revival of land tenures as instruments for the delivery of public policy, requiring innovative federal and state legislation, often driven by judicial determinations. More so than any other bioregion, Cape York Peninsula has experienced radical shifts in landownership, land titles, and property rights, reflecting its pivotal role as an arena in which emerging national goals are contested. The most immediately visible evidence of these changes is depicted in the tenure maps for 1970, 1990, and 2010. However, these maps provide an incomplete account of tenure changes, including new titles such as non-transferable communal freehold and common-law recognition of traditional native title, requiring belated responses by state and federal governments. The three benchmark maps provide a starting point for an examination of the currently resurrected role of land titles and land rights as policy instruments. The time-specific attributes of each tenure category are discussed and linked to the policies underpinning each tenure and to the communities, political constituencies, resources, enterprises, and national values engaged with each tenure. Land titles and land rights are pivotal in political contests about regional futures, with the peninsula acting as a crucible in shaping wider national directions. © 2011 The Author. Geographical Research
Keyword Cape York Peninsula
North Australia
Land tenure
Property rights
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Publications
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