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Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory Agreement

Category: Agreement
Date: 13 November 2009
Sub Category:Future Act Agreement (Native Title Act) | Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Native Title Act)
Location:Boolardy Station, Murchison, Western Australia, Australia
The ILUA covers approximately 130 square kilometres of land and waters within Lot 502 on Deposited Plan 55945. The ILUA area is located approximately 175 kilometres west of Meekatharra and is within the jurisdiction of the Shire of Murchison.
Legal Status: Registered with the National Native Title Tribunal on the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements on 13 November 2009. This is an Area Agreement under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).
Legal Reference: National Native Title Tribunal File No. WI2009/002.
Subject Matter:Compensation | Consultation | Education | Employment and Training | Housing, Construction and Infrastructure | Land Use | Native Title
URL: http://www.nntt.gov.au/News-and-Communications/Newsletters/Talking-Native-Title/Documents/Murchison%20radio-astronomy%20observatory%20ILUA%20register%20extract.pdf
Summary Information:
This Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) was agreed between:
- the State of Western Australia;
- the Western Australian Minister for Lands;
- Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO);
- the Commonwealth of Australia;
- Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation; and
- Ike Simpson, Robin Boddington, Ron Simpson, Charlie Snowball, David Jones, Colin Hamlett, Gavin Egan, Mack Mourambine, Timothy Simpson, Bill Pearce, Malcolm Ryan, Neville Mongoo,
Gordon Fraser, Rochelle Baumgarten, William Baumgarten and Pam Mongoo (being the registered native title claimants to the Wajarri Yamatji native title claim (Federal Court File No: (WC04/10)).

The purpose of this ILUA is to provide consent for the establishment of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope, as well as ancillary works. The ILUA also provides consent for the doing of certain other radio-astronomy projects within the ILUA area.

The ILUA includes a benefits package for the native title claimants, as final compensation for the ILUA acts.
Detailed Information:
The Murchison Radio-Astronomy Observatory

The Murchison Radio-Astronomy Observatory is a 126 square kilometre site within the Boolardy Station, a sheep station in the north-west Western Australia. The site serves as a pre-cursor to the establishment of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. The establishment of this telescope forms part of Australia's bid to house the Square Kilometre Array, which is the world's most powerful telescope. Australia and South Africa are competing to secure this international project. The announcement of the winning bid is expected by 2012. For more information on the SKA Project, click here.

Consent to Future Acts

The parties consent to the establishment of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope (the Project). They do so by providing consent to the grant of a Crown Lease by the Western Australian Minister for Lands to the CSIRO over the area referred to as the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory site. The grant of this lease does not extinguish the native title rights and interests of the native title claimants, however, such rights and interests are suspended to the extent that they are inconsistent with the rights conferred by the lease.

The consent extends to ancillary works associated with the Project.

The parties agree that their consent to the doing of these acts constitutes the requisite consent for the purposes of ss 24EB(1)(b) of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), which covers the effect of registration on proposed acts covered by ILUA.

The parties also agree that the right to negotiate provisions of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) do not apply.

Validation of Investigation Licence

The parties confirm the validity of an Investigation Licence granted to the CSIRO by the Minister for Lands on 8 October 2007. The licence entitles the CSIRO to conduct investigatory work in the ILUA area prior to the establishment of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope

The parties agree that their consent to the doing of these acts constitutes the requisite consent for the purposes of ss 24EB(1)(a) of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), which covers the effect of registration on previous acts covered by ILUAs.

Protection of cultural heritage

The parties agree that establishment of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope will comply with the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA).

Benefits Package

The ILUA provides the native title claimants (Wajarri Yamatji people) with a benefits package. This benefits package encompasses both monetary and non-monetary benefits. Monetary benefits include:
- an $8 million payment; and
- $3 million for the establishment and operation of corporations, employment of an Aboriginal Liaison Officer by the CSIRO and the development of a cross cultural awareness training program (to be run under the direction of the Aboriginal Liaison Officer). This payment is to be made over a period of 5 years.

Non-monetary benefits, equating to approximately $7.126 million, include:
- employment and beneficial contracting opportunities;
- traineeships and cadetships. In particular, the ILUA provides for up to 70 indigenous cadetships with the CSIRO over the following 30 years;
- education. In particular, the CSIRO undertakes to institute a mentoring program for Wajarri students for 5 years. It also undertakes to develop a science literacy and education program to be delivered to prescribed schools for 4 years;
- a VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) satellite link to support internet connectivity to the Pia Wadjarri community;
- the provision of naming rights to the native title claimants;
- the provision of rights to display Wajarri Yamatji art, culture and history.

Access

The ILUA provides an access protocol to the native title parties, entitling them to access the ILUA area.

Provisions Regarding the Square Kilometre Array

The ILUA only deals with land use requirements regarding the establishment of the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope and does not provide details of land use requirements for the Square Kilometre Array. It does however provide a framework for future negotiations, should Australia be succesful in securing its bid to establish the Square Kilometre Array.

Native title in the ILUA area

The Wajirri Yamatji People are registered claimants in an application for a determination of native title in proceeding WC 2004 of 2010 in the Federal Court of Australia. Their claim relates to approximately 100,701 square kilometres of land in the Gascoyne/Murchison region. This is one of the largest native title claims in Australia. The claim represents the now combined claims of the Wajarri Elders and the Ngoonooru Wadjari people. The claim is currently in mediation. The land subject to this claim overlaps with the area covered by this ILUA.

Related Entries

Organisation
  • Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation
  • State of Western Australia
  • Commonwealth of Australia
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 (WA)
  • People
  • Wajarri Yamatji Registered Native Title Claimants on their own behalf and on behalf of the Wajarri Yamatji Registered Native Title Claim Group
  • Minister for Lands for the State of Western Australia

  • References

    Media Release
    The Government of Western Australia Office of Native Title (2009) Fact Sheet - Murchison Radio Astronomy Observatory Agreement
    Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation (26 November 2009) Wajarri People announce agreement for Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder Telescope
    Newspaper Article
    Traditional Aborigines Shoot for the Stars (27 November 2009) Chris Thomson
    Report
    Antony Schinckel (6 Feburary 2009) Infrastructure for ASKAP and The Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO)
    Resource
    National Native Title Tribunal (2010) WA - Registered ILUA - Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory Agreement WI2009/002
    Department of the Attorney General, Office of Native Title (5 November 2009) Wajarri Yamatji: WC04/10, WAD6033/98

    Documents

    Map
    Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory Agreement Map - ( PDF)
    Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory Agreement - ( PDF)

    Glossary

    Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Future Act (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia)

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