Prescribed Body Corporate


Under the Native Title Act 1993, when Native Title is determined for an area of land or water, a Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC) must be nominated by the native title holders*.

The role of a PBC is to manage native title rights and interests.

In the rare event a PBC is not nominated by native title holders the Act allows for the ILSC to be appointed by the Federal Court to operate as a default agent PBC.

In these circumstances the ILSC will operate as a PBC for an initial five-year period or until such time native title holders are ready to establish a PBC.

Key functions of an ILSC PBC will include:

  • being an agent of native title holders in respect of matters relating to native title
  • managing rights and interests as authorised by native title holders
  • holding money in trust and investing or applying it as directed by native title holders
  • consulting with and obtaining consent of native title holders
  • certifying Indigenous Land Use Agreements (Body Corporate Agreements)
  • responding to future acts.

How often has the ILSC acted as a PBC?

The role has been evoked only once since 1993. In July 2022 the ILSC is acting as an agent PBC for the Birriman-gan native title holders of the Kimberley region, WA.

Is the ILSC’s PBC role permanent?

The ILSC strongly advocates for self-determination. In the event it is appointed PBC, its focus will be on meeting its statutory PBC functions under the Act while working with native title holders to transfer these responsibilities to a PBC of their choosing.

Does the ILSC PBC have the same functions as a PBC appointed by native title holders?

No. Unlike PBCs appointed by native title holders, the ILSC is not governed by the Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act 2006. Therefore, an ILSC PBC will manage native title differently to a PBC which is directly nominated by the native title holders.

For example there would not be PBC membership; a member-elected Board of Directors; or additional PBC functions such as ranger programs.

This factsheet sets out some of the key differences in more detail. 

Where can I get further information?

Contact the ILSC’s Prescribed Body Unit: free call 1800 818 490 or email

*Also known as ‘common law holders’