A native title land use agreement (NLTUA) is a legally binding agreement between Indigenous Australians and other parties to govern the use and management of land and water. These agreements are made under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and cover a range of topics, including access to land, cultural heritage management, and compensation arrangements.

NLTUAs are an important tool for facilitating economic development while protecting the cultural and environmental values of the land. They allow Indigenous Australians to share in the benefits of development on their traditional lands, such as employment, training, and business opportunities.

Under the Native Title Act, a NLTUA must be negotiated in good faith with the native title holders and any other interested parties. The agreement must be approved by the Federal Court before it can come into effect. Once approved, the NLTUA becomes a legally binding document, which means that all parties are required to comply with its terms.

One of the key features of a NLTUA is the provision for compensation. Compensation can take many different forms, such as financial payments, infrastructure development, or the provision of employment or training opportunities. Compensation is an important way of recognising the historical dispossession of Indigenous Australians and providing some redress for the impact of past actions on traditional lands.

Another important aspect of a NLTUA is the protection of cultural heritage. Traditional knowledge and practices are an integral part of the relationship between Indigenous Australians and their land. A NLTUA will typically include provisions for the protection and management of cultural heritage, including the identification and protection of sites of significance and the involvement of traditional owners in decision-making about cultural heritage matters.

Overall, a native title land use agreement is a mechanism for balancing economic development with the protection of Indigenous cultural and environmental values. By negotiating these agreements in good faith, all parties can work together to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes that respect the rights and interests of Indigenous Australians.