Agreements under Section 31 of the Native Title Act

Dual deed system

Queensland has a 'dual deed' system, which means that an applicant for a resource authority and the relevant native title party will generally have to negotiate 2 agreements:

  • a section 31 deed
  • an ancillary agreement (i.e. private agreement).

The ancillary agreement is confidential and includes:

  • land access arrangements
  • conduct and compensation arrangements,
  • the protection of native title rights and interests, and cultural heritage.

This ancillary agreement is not usually submitted to the National Native Title Tribunal.

Most agreements include a cultural heritage management plan to ensure the continued protection of cultural heritage values in the land.

Section 31 template

You can use the section 31 deed template for either the expedited procedure or right-to-negotiate process. By signing this deed, the parties confirm that they've:

  • negotiated and executed an ancillary agreement
  • received independent legal advice
  • consented to the grant.

Once signed, you'll need to submit the section 31 deed to the Department of Resources at

We'll consider and execute the deed, which completes the native title process.

The applicant and the native title party are responsible for negotiating and executing agreements, but we may be able to advise or help with some components of the agreement.

Contact us to request the section 31 deed.

No native title party

If there's no native title party registered for the area of a grant, you will still need to comply with the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 and Torres Strait Island Cultural Heritage Act 2003.

Transfers and assignments

A resource authority holder may transfer their authority under the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Act 2014.

A transfer is also called an 'assignment' in section 31 deeds.

When lodging a transfer, the resource authority holder must complete the Section 31 deed assignment notice form (PDF, 279KB), and submit a copy to:

  • the native title party of the transfer
  • the department of the proposed transfer.

This is in compliance with the section 31 deed and ancillary agreement, and the Mineral Resources Act 1989.

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