It is clear that Traditional Owners in the more remote northern and western parts of Australia are starting to see substantial benefits from mining agreements, and beginning to form long‑lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with mining companies. By and large, south eastern Traditional Owners are not achieving this in the right to negotiate process.
This paper will present and discuss the potential reasons why this geographical disparity exists, and put forward a number of options to try and alleviate the disparity. This paper culminates in a proposal for NTRBs and NTSPs in the south east to create a regularised forum for sharing information, developing cumulative strategies and creating a media and political presence for native title future act issues to be aired: the South Eastern Native Title Mining & Exploration Negotiation Alliance (SENTMENA).
It is hoped that this paper will generate discussion and become a launching point for further co-operation between representative bodies in the south east to try and help Traditional Owners in that area share in the gains being made in the right to negotiate process elsewhere.