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Oliver Wilkerson, Wilkerson Legal

Relevant Experience:

  • One of the first solicitors in Australia to specialise in native title law following the High Court’s Mabo Decision. Since then, he has been the lawyer for parties to dozens of native title claims in Australia.
  • External legal advisor to the Torres Strait Regional Authority and through it for registered native title bodies corporate in the Torres Strait region.
  • Legal advisor for Arrow Energy’s LNG Project in Queensland and its existing Moranbah gas project (Arrow Energy is jointly owned Royal Dutch Shell and Petrochina).
  • Successful delivery of 12 Indigenous land use agreements and numerous cultural heritage management plans for all aspects of Arrow Energy’s LNG Project (including gasfield development, gas pipelines, LNG facilities and port infrastructure).
  • Principal legal advisor on native title and Aboriginal cultural heritage issues for the $6.9 billion South East Queensland water grid project including successful completion of numerous cultural heritage management plans for pipelines and other components of the water infrastructure network.
  • Legal advisor to Seqwater on strategic native title and Aboriginal cultural heritage compliance issues.
  • Legal advisor on native title and Aboriginal cultural heritage for several port infrastructure projects at Cairns, Townsville and Karumba.
  • Legal advisor to electricity corporations including Powerlink Queensland and Ergon Energy in respect of native title and
  • Aboriginal cultural heritage compliance for scores of electricity infrastructure projects.
  • For over 20 years legal advisor, at one time or another, to most of Queensland's local governments in respect of legal compliance requirements for public works projects and the recognition and protection of local government interests in native title claims.
  • For over 20 years legal advisor, at one time or another, to Queensland government owned corporations and agencies including, for land development purposes, the former Urban Land Development Authority.
  • Advising The Clermont Group on all aspects of native title and Aboriginal cultural heritage compliance for a number of quarry projects. Provision of strategic and policy advice on native title issues to the Local Government Association of Queensland.
  • Advising on all aspects of land access and tenure grants for projects including complex State land leases, easements, reserve land dealings, freeholding applications in respect of State land, land boundary changes, land dealings below high water mark and dealings of most other kinds under the Land Act 1994.
  • Preparation of numerous proposal for statutory reform in respect of land titles, particularly Indigenous interests in land, including submissions for clients for most of the amendment bills relating to the Native Title Act 1993.
  • Assisting the registered native title body corporate for the Meriam People in respect of the revocation of a previous government reserve and its replacement with a grant of Torres Strait Islander freehold under the Torres Strait Islander Land Act 1991.

Other Key Strengths:

  • Author of a training course on Native Title and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Compliance for Infrastructure Projects for the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia and delivery of scores of course seminars to Indigenous, government and private organisations throughout Australia.
  • Deep understanding of government policy approaches and policy innovation in respect of Indigenous interests in land. More than 20 years of involvement with all levels of government. Former local government councillor.
  • Strong business development, negotiation and commercial innovation and advocacy skills particularly in the formation of joint venture and alliance models and in respect of Indigenous business development opportunities.
  • Extensive knowledge of and involvement in Chinese business culture, history and arts.
    20 years experience working directly with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People throughout Australia, including in some of the country's most remote locations.