Agree­ment pos­i­tive step for na­tive ti­tle

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Near You -

THE ac­cep­tance of the State Gov­ern­ment’s South West Set­tle­ment of­fer last week by six Noon­gar claim groups would set a pos­i­tive prece­dent for fu­ture na­tive ti­tle claims in WA, ac­cord­ing to Mur­doch Uni­ver­sity’s Kul­bardi Abo­rig­i­nal Cen­tre manager Braden Hill.

He said the agree­ment was po­ten­tially an un­prece­dented act of self-de­ter­mi­na­tion that looked to pro­vide the ba­sis for in­vest­ment in Noon­gar com­mu­ni­ties in­de­pen­dent of gov­ern­ment and driven by the needs and as­pi­ra­tions of Noon­gar peo­ple.

Pre­mier Colin Bar­nett said un­der the terms of the set­tle­ment, $1.3 bil­lion would be trans­ferred over 12 years – in­clud­ing an­nual fund­ing in­stal­ments of $50 mil­lion for 12 years – to sup­port Noon­gar eco­nomic and cul­tural devel­op­ment.

Up to 320,000 hectares of Crown land would be trans­ferred to the trust for cul­tural and eco­nomic devel­op­ment.

Mr Hill said the “well de­vel­oped, thought­fully con­sid­ered and in­no­va­tive agree­ment” went far be­yond what Na­tive Ti­tle was able to de­liver in­dige­nous peo­ple and would ben­e­fit the com­mu­nity as a whole – Noon­gar and nonNoon­gars alike.

“Im­prove­ments for Noon­gar com­mu­ni­ties are im­prove­ments for the broader commu-

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey nity,” he said.

“In­come that flows di­rectly into com­mu­nity devel­op­ment ac­tiv­i­ties on Noon­gar coun­try will im­pact pos­i­tively on all our com­mu­ni­ties.

“This agree­ment al­lows for our younger gen­er­a­tions to de­velop pos­i­tive iden­ti­ties that em­power them to fully en­gage with WA’s so­cial, eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal life. This can only be a pos­i­tive thing for the en­tire com­mu­nity.

“The pri­ori­ti­sa­tion of lan­guage and cul­ture is very ex­cit­ing. It will al­low for Noon­gar com­mu­ni­ties to en­liven cul­tural prac­tices and strengthen our con­nec­tions to coun­try.”

Mr Hill siad it would not be a sur­prise to see an ob­jec­tion raised with the Na­tional Na­tive Ti­tle Tri­bunal, par­tic­u­larly given how con­tentious the agree­ment had be­come.

“For the pur­poses of unity within the Noon­gar com­mu­nity, it would be great to see it be reg­is­tered with­out ob­jec­tions,” he said.

“The fact that the pro­cesses has been con­tentious has raised some di­vi­sions within the Noon­gar com­mu­nity, par­tic­u­larly in some claimant ar­eas.

“I think that this deal, once the strate­gies are be­gin­ning to show out­comes, will bring Noon­gar peo­ple to­gether and hold us in good stead for gen­er­a­tions to come.”

Www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d416212

Kul­bardi Abo­rig­i­nal Cen­tre manager Braden Hill.

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