"Who owns the Australian outback is a vexed question. The true answer is First
Nations peoples, whose ownership stems back 60,000 years. The legal answer is
more complex. It’s a mess of titles – freehold, pastoral leases, crown leases,
public land, native title and land held by Aboriginal trusts.
And no two jurisdictions store or share that data in the same way.
Six months ago Guardian Australia set out to learn who owns the outback. The
data we received was unwieldy, incomplete, inconsistent and often came with a
hefty price tag. There is no nationally consistent protocol for recording land
tenure and land use information, or even clearly established definitions of
what constitutes ownership or control of land.
So, in the absence of official data, we have collated large datasets from every
state and territory and pieced together a database of land ownership. We then
looked to the work of a rural newspaper, the Weekly Times, which has been
tracking farm ownership. We also looked at information contained in media
reports, official websites of known major landowners, cattle brand directories,
government servers and other online maps.
The information we have sourced paints a picture of increasingly consolidated
land ownership in outback Australia and a growing Indigenous estate."
Via Glyn Moody, who wrote "fascinating analysis"
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics