Na­tive ti­tle for Ngar­luma

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

Tra­di­tional own­ers have gained na­tive ti­tle over town sites in the City of Kar­ratha orig­i­nally ex­cluded from the 2005 Ngar­luma/ Yind­jibarndi de­ter­mi­na­tion.

In late De­cem­ber, Jus­tice Neil McKer­racher made the de­ter­mi­na­tion to give the Ngar­luma peo­ple non-ex­clu­sive rights to the towns of Kar­ratha, Wick­ham and Point Samson.

Ya­matji Marlpa Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Si­mon Hawkins said the town sites were ex­cluded from the orig­i­nal de­ter­mi­na­tion be­cause of ten­ure is­sues.

“Towns can be quite dif­fer­ent in terms of ten­ure and lev­els of land dis­tur­bance so it can take a long time to do ten­ure anal­y­sis,” he said.

Mr Hawkins said af­ter seven years the court had recog­nised some­thing the Ngar­luma peo­ple had al­ways known.

“Non-ex­clu­sive na­tive ti­tle will ac­knowl­edge the Ngar­luma peo­ple’s tra­di­tional rights and cus­toms, and al­low them the right to ne­go­ti­ate,” he said.

“It is not to the same level as ex­clu­sive pos­ses­sion, it is more for­mal recog­ni­tion over the land.

“I would think the City of Kar­ratha would want to em­brace this and build a re­la­tion­ship with the Ngar­luma peo­ple. It’s a good Christ­mas gift, but in all th­ese sit­u­a­tions it would be nice to see th­ese de­ter­mi­na­tions re­solved quicker than seven years.”

Mr Hawkins said the de­ter­mi­na­tion would not ad­versely im­pact on ex­ist­ing or fu­ture de­vel­op­ment in the three towns.

City of Kar­ratha Mayor Peter long said the coun­cil was ea­ger to foster a strong work­ing re­la­tion­ship with NAC.

Pic­ture: Aaron Bunch

Keith Churn­side, Josie Samson, Michael Walker Sr, Pansy Hicks and Belinda Churn­side out­side the Fed­eral Court in Perth.

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