Beagle Bay title win
Hundreds gathered to celebrate in the remote community of Beagle Bay as an historic native title determination drew a line under a decade-long fight for competing Aboriginal claims to the Dampier Peninsula.
Federal Court Judge Anthony North delivered the judgment to locals during a ceremony at the town football oval, confirming the Nyul Nyul, Nimanburr and Jabirr Jabirr Ngumbarl people as the rightful native title holders over a combined area of about 12,000sqkm.
The ruling covered James Price Point, which at one point was considered as the site of a Woodside gas plant.
The decision in effect puts an end to a claim to the area by the Goolarabooloo people, who gathered celebrity support in their campaign against the plant.
That campaign split the local community, many of whom wanted the plant to create revenue and jobs. As part of the determination, it was confirmed that the Goolarabooloo laid claim to the area as descendants of Paddy Roe, who had only come to the area in the 1930s.
Woodside abandoned the project on economic grounds, but many locals have complained the campaign run by the Goolarabooloo and environmental groups contributed to the result.
The Goolarabooloo recently created friction in the Aboriginal community after they launched a State Heritage claim over the town of Broome, despite another group being recognised as the traditional native title holders.
Kimberley Land Council spokesman Tyronne Garstone said the next step would be to set up a corporation to manage what happened on the land.