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