Nature conservation

Parks, reserves and protected areas

Lease-back agreements

The National Parks and Wildlife Act and the Aboriginal Land Rights Act set up a process by which some parks can be returned to a local Aboriginal land council to hold on behalf of the Aboriginal owners. The park can then leased back to the NSW Government under mutually agreed conditions, with the lease payments to be spent on the care, control and management of the park.

A board of management cares for the park. The Aboriginal owners have a majority representation on the board, but there are also representatives of the NPWS, local government, a conservation group and adjoining landholders.


What are the benefits of a lease-back agreement?
See some of the advantages of these agreements for Aboriginal communities - including potential jobs.

How is a lease-back agreement established?
See what steps an Aboriginal community can follow to negotiate these types of agreements.

Which parks and reserves can be returned to Aboriginal ownership and leased back?
See a list of the parks that are eligible for lease-back. Find out which ones have been returned to their Aboriginal owners so far.

Biamanga and Gulaga national parks return to Aboriginal ownership
Biamanga and Gulaga national parks on the Far South Coast have been returned to their Aboriginal owners, the Yuin people. Find out more, and download a copy of the lease arrangement.

Mount Grenfell Historic Site: return to Aboriginal ownership
This reserve near Cobar was handed back to its Aboriginal owners in July 2004. Find out more, and download a copy of the lease arrangement.

Mutawintji National Park, Mutawintji Historic Site and Mutawintji Nature Reserve: return to Aboriginal ownership
The Mutawintji reserves were the first in NSW to be handed back to their Aboriginal owners. Find out more, and download a copy of the lease arrangement.

Page last updated: 27 February 2011