Press Release

NATIVE TITLE SETTLEMENT - NORTHWEST PILBARA PASTORALISTS

2009-06-11

On 11 June 2009, Justice North of the Federal Court of Australia made a consent determination over the Nyangumarta Part A native title claim area (being an area including but not limited to the areas of Wallal station and part of each of Anna Plains and Mandora stations).

Before the consent determination can be made, the Court must be satisfied that the State of Western Australia has identified that there is a credible basis to the claim.  In this instance, it is clear that the State has thoroughly analysed the connection material provided by the Nyangumarta people and has established that there is a credible basis to the claim.

During the course of the Nyangumarta Part A proceedings, the pastoral respondents negotiated a resolution with the Nyangumarta people based on their respective interests.  The pastoral respondents have agreed to enter into the consent determination on the basis of a land access agreement with the Nyangumarta people, which will be in the form of Indigenous Land Use Agreement (“ILUA”).  That was executed immediately after the making of the consent determination and the vesting of native title in the Nyangumarta Warrarn Aboriginal Corporation.

The native title and pastoral parties worked together to agree to the ILUA in order to document the co-extensive use of rights over the land.  The ILUA will allow for pastoral activities while preserving the native title rights and interests of the Nyangumarta people.

In the spirit of cooperation, the pastoral respondents have made important concessions, especially with regard to not insisting on provisions for the extinguishment of native title by the construction of pastoral improvements.

The pastoral respondents will continue to engage with the native title parties in the ongoing Nyangumarta-Karajarri (Yawinya) overlap proceedings over the area to the north of the current consent determination area.  The pastoralists look forward to resolving any issues that may arise in the same spirit of cooperation in order to ensure a reasonable and mutually beneficial outcome.

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