image of Tosin AroTosin Aro

Clayton Utz Special Counsel , Brisbane T +61 7 3292 7583

Tosin Aro is a special counsel in our Brisbane office whose broad legal experience has centred on major infrastructure projects, energy and resources law, government and administrative law, native title and cultural heritage and compulsory acquisition.

In addition, Tosin has detailed knowledge of environment and planning law and the conduct of procurement processes.

Tosin shares his knowledge of Native Title and Cultural Heritage Law with clients through the Clayton Utz Training Program.

Clients find Tosin "has a very practical approach," adding: "He explains the legal issues and strategic options concisely and effectively to his clients." (Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2020)

Clients recognise Tosin's knowledge, stating: "What he doesn't know doesn't exist. He is entirely across the whole of native title and cultural heritage. He is a walking encyclopaedia and his ability to produce high-quality and timely advice is unsurpassed." (Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2019)

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Energy and Resources

New Hope Corporation: Advising the project proponent on all native title and Aboriginal cultural heritage issues associated with the expansion of the New Acland Mine.

Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG): Acting on all native title, cultural heritage and land access issues associated with the development of Queensland's largest LNG project. To date, this has included drafting and successfully negotiating no fewer than 29 native title and cultural heritage agreements.

Adani: Advised on native title and cultural heritage issues associated with the development of the Carmichael Coal Rail and Port Project. Tosin also advised the State on issues related to the resumption of native title.

Stanwell: Advising on all native title and cultural heritage issues arising in relation to the establishment and operation of the Meandu Mine and the proposed King 2 East Expansion.

Idemitsu: Advising on all native title, cultural heritage and Aboriginal land rights issues with respect to new mining lease applications to be made for the Boggabri coal mine.

AWE Limited: Advising on all native title and Aboriginal heritage issues arising in relation to the renewal and continued development of its Western Australian production licences L1 and L2 (Waitsia gas field) and L11 (Beharra Springs gas field). All three tenements will be covered by the proposed Yamatji Nation Southern Regional Agreement.

U&D Mining: Advising the proponent on all native title and cultural heritage matters for the Meteor Downs South Coal mine. Cultural heritage issues - in particular, the identification of Aboriginal parties - have been especially complex because of the location of the project in the "overlap area" that was the subject of concurrent native title claims by several groups including Bidjara People, Karingbal People #2 and Brown River People, which were ultimately determined on the basis that native title does not exist. 

Queensland Government: Advising on native title, Aboriginal land and Aboriginal cultural heritage arising on the development of a large-scale wind farm development (1,200MW) in Queensland.

See Energy and Resources

Native Title

South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) - South West Settlement: Advising SWALSC and the Noongar people on the A$1.3 billion settlement of all native title claims over Perth and the South West of WA. This has included drafting and negotiating the 6 ILUAs and associated "Settlement Agreement" required to implement the Settlement, and assisting SWALSC to respond to the 138 objections that were made (in two tranches) against registration of the ILUAs. All 6 ILUAs were registered on 17 October 2018.

South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) - Court challenges: Represented SWALSC in its defence of 4 High Court challenges (remitted to the Full Federal Court for hearing) and 1 Federal Court challenge against registration of the Settlement ILUAs. The Full Court's decision led (after a Senate Inquiry in which Tosin played a prominent role) to the ILUA provisions of the Native Title Act being amended in June 2017.  Tosin then acted for SWALSC in responding to 12 judicial review challenges against registration of the ILUAs (10 of which were referred directly to the Full Court for hearing).  After favourable decisions were received in December 2019, Tosin is now acting for SWALSC in its response to 6 High Court applications for special leave to appeal.

Graymont Limited: Advised on Australian aspects of the global acquisition of the lime and limestone business of SCR-Sibelco NV (Belgium) by joint venturers Graymont Limited (Canada) and Grupo Calidra (Mexico). The purchase includes operations located across the Asia-Pacific region and South America.

Cross River Rail Delivery Authority: Advised on all native title and cultural heritage issues arising in relation to the State's high priority Cross River Rail project. Tosin has drafted and negotiated (and provided extensive advice to the State on) two CHMPs for this major project.

Real estate and infrastructure projects: Providing native title and cultural advice to the proponents of the Pine Valley and Twin Waters residential developments, and the Queen's Wharf Brisbane and Oxley Creek Transformation projects.

See Native Title

Administrative and Public Law

Western Cape Communities Co-existence Agreement (WCCCA): Advised the Trustee of the Trust created under the WCCCA, which is an ILUA between Rio Tinto Aluminium Limited (RTA) and the Traditional Owners of the Western Cape York Peninsula with respect to RTA's mining activities in the area. The advice relates to native title and Aboriginal cultural heritage issues as well as to general contractual matters.

Revenue and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2018: Acted for Clayton Utz as well as on behalf of a number of clients (including Queensland Resources Council, Cross River Rail Delivery Authority, ARTC Inland rail and U&D Mining) in the Parliamentary Inquiry process that resulted in the amendment of Queensland's Cultural Heritage Acts to reverse the effect of the Supreme Court’s controversial Nuga Nuga decision.

See Administrative and Public Law

Government Services

Department of Environment and Energy (Commonwealth government): Advised the Commonwealth government on all native title issues related to the proposed nomination of parts of Cape York for World Heritage Listing (including drafting what would be Australia's first alternative procedure agreement ILUA), and the National Heritage Listing of Quinkan Country in Cape York.

Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (Commonwealth government): Acted for the Commonwealth government on an ILUA for the construction of a sewerage treatment plant (and other facilities) on Cape York as part of the 2016 Army Aboriginal Community Assistance Programme.

Northern Territory Government: Acting on all native title, Aboriginal heritage and land rights issues relating to the Northern Gas Pipeline and Ord River Irrigation Expansion Stage 3.

Project approvals: Provided extensive project delivery advice to the proponents of countless major projects including Western Corridor Recycled Water Project, Paradise Dam and associated Weirs, Tugun Bypass, Gold Coast Desalination Pipeline, Tarong Ash Dam Expansion, Rolleston Coal Project, Gateway Upgrade Project, Bauhinia Regional Rail Project, Burdekin River Hydro-Electricity Project, Boyne Island Aluminium Smelter Extension and Millmerran Power Project.

Transport Infrastructure Projects: Advising the proponents, and Commonwealth, State and local governments, on all native title and cultural heritage issues arising for the Toowoomba Bypass, Cross River Rail, North Coast Connect, Brisbane Metro and the Inland Rail Programme.


See Government Services


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