Work Area Clearances, or Heritage Surveys, are often conducted to reduce the risks of mining and petroleum exploration activities impacting Aboriginal heritage.
In some instances, it may be practical or necessary for a project proponent and native title group to agree to conduct a survey without, or prior to, finalising a substantive agreement. This could be, for example, due to a project need, or, logistical challenges with execution of a final agreement. In those cases, the parties can exchange letters to help facilitate a survey.
MPS Law has developed a template letter that identifies some of the key parts of the letter. The template letter agreement is available here.
Letter agreements should only be entered into once legal advice is sought, and project proponents should promote the free, prior and informed consent of the native title party.