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Federal Court determines Native Title

Posted: Thu, March 06, 2014

Representatives from the various clans and language groups who were granted Native Title at Tingkkarli.

THE Federal Court has determined seven native title claims covering 37,000km² of land over seven pastoral leases today.

Justice Rangiah of the Federal Court presided over a hearing at Tingkkarli / Lake Mary Ann (near Tennant Creek) attended by about 300 people including traditional owners, Northern Land Council representatives, government representatives, and media.

The seven claims were filed in late 2011 over each of Alroy Downs, Anthony Lagoon, Brunchilly, Brunette Downs, Eva Downs, Rockhampton Downs and Tandyidgee pastoral leases, seeking recognition that native title co-exists with pastoral interests. The claims were efficiently resolved over the next two and a half years.

These determinations recognised native title for the Gulunurru (Anderson), Purrukwarra, Karrkarrkuwaja (Kalkalkuwaja), Jukatayi Palyarinji, Walanyja, Kurtinja, Kunakiji/Lukkurnu, Kunapa, Jalajirrpa, Mangurinji, Kujuluwa, [Y]ijiparta, Gurungu / Kulumintini and Warranungku groups.

As well as according cultural recognition and ensuring traditional hunting and sacred site protection, native title holders will have the opportunity to participate in future mining negotiations.

The hearing began with a Welcome to Country by the Patta Aboriginal Corporation.

NLC CEO, Joe Morrison, congratulated the many Native Title holders and paid tribute to the many claimants that have passed away.

“These determinations are another reminder of the important role of negotiated settlements and the role of the Northern Land Council,” Mr Morrison said.

“Pastoralists are also recognised for their common sense approach to resolving these issues.

“The NLC has also lodged numerous applications on behalf of traditional owners and many have been or are due for settlement.

“This has required a lot of collective effort but it is strategically important to ensure that native title holders have a say over the future use of the land.”