Na­tive ti­tle recog­nised

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

The lengthy na­tive ti­tle process has once again been brought into ques­tion as an­other de­ter­mi­na­tion was set­tled last week in the Pil­bara.

The Ngar­lawang0ga peo­ple cel­e­brated recog­ni­tion of their land and cul­ture at a Fed­eral Court hear­ing held in Tom Price last Wed­nes­day af­ter 11 years of le­gal pro­ceed­ings.

Fed­eral Court Jus­tice Michael Barker made the con­sent de­ter­mi­na­tion recog­nis­ing the Ngar­lawangga peo­ple’s claim to the non-ex­clu­sive rights to the area of land.

Ngar­lawangga tra­di­tional owner Dianne Lim­er­ick said the jour­ney to­wards na­tive ti­tle de­ter­mi­na­tion had been long and hard.

“We have lost much fam­ily in this time, both elders and young ones,” she said.

“Today we fi­nally have a happy end­ing as our coun­try has been re­turned to us.”

Ya­matji Marlpa Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Si­mon Hawkins said the day was a cel­e­bra­tion for the Ngar­lawangga peo­ple de­spite the lengthy process.

“Af­ter 11 long years of le­gal process they have fi­nally gained the recog­ni­tion of a part of their coun­try which was pre­vi­ously de­nied,” he said.

The com­ments echoed those made at the re­cent Ku­ruma coun­try de­ter­mi­na­tion where tra­di­tional own­ers lamented the loss of elders who had been piv­otal in their 18-year fight for rights.

At­tor­ney-Gen­eral Michael Mischin said WA led the na­tion in recog­nis­ing na­tive ti­tle rights, with na­tive ti­tle de­ter­mined over more than 1.26 mil­lion square kilo­me­tres of the State.

“This de­ter­mi­na­tion pro­vides for the recog­ni­tion of non-ex­clu­sive pos­ses­sion na­tive ti­tle rights and in­ter­ests in re­la­tion to the Ngar­lawangga na­tive ti­tle ap­pli­ca­tion area,” he said.

“I con­grat­u­late the Ngar­lawangga peo­ple on their achieve­ment, and look for­ward to es­tab­lish­ing an en­dur­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween the Gov­ern­ment and the Ngar­lawangga com­mu­nity to dis­cuss op­por­tu­ni­ties to build a sus­tain­able and pro­duc­tive fu­ture.”

Mr Mischin said the Ngar­lawangga de­ter­mi­na­tion was the 64th de­ter­mi­na­tion in WA and the 12th since De­cem­ber last year. The Ngar­lawangga na­tive ti­tle de­ter­mi­na­tion ap­pli­ca­tion cov­ers about 6100sqkm of land within the Shires of East Pil­bara and Meekatharra.

The Ngar­lawangga Abo­rig­i­nal Cor­po­ra­tion will con­tinue to ad­min­is­ter the Ngar­lawangga peo­ple’s busi­ness as their nom­i­nated pre­scribed body cor­po­rate.

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