This paper presents a case study, based on the experiences of two senior Aboriginal traditional owners who were engaged in negotiations surrounding the establishment of a Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) in southeast Queensland. This case is notable as an illustration of the capacity of natural resource management planning, through negotiation within a formal process, to extinguish native title. Importantly, the personal experiences of two senior Aboriginal people provide an insight into a situation designed to enhance interactions between government and community, with the overt intention of improving natural resource management. However, the record of this personal experience indicates that the communication was less than satisfactory and that the outcomes, at least in terms of the experiences recorded here, of the individual senior Aboriginal community members, was less than satisfactory. We conclude that, despite best intentions, there is an important lack of provision for community influence or power, including any legal or administrative institutional framework. We also conclude that there are important institutional and social processes of engagement still to be developed, including ways of engaging the community more widely that has conventionally been the case.
The publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-5871.2005.00343.x