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Poruma People v State of Queensland [2000] FCA 1066 (7 July 2000) AND Warraber People v State of Queensland

Category: Agreement
Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 7 July 2000
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)
Location:Poruma (Coconut) Island, Queensland, Australia
The Poruma v State of Queensland determination area comprises the land and inland waters of Poruma (Coconut) Island, in the Torres Strait, Queensland, but not including the following areas: (a). Roads; (b). Land northeast of the Council Office and abutting the Council compound on which the Telstra mast and equipment shelter are located, including any adjacent land the use of which is or was necessary for, or incidental to, the construction, establishment or operation of the installation; (c). Land on which Ergon Energy Corporation power station is situated including any adjacent land the use of which is or was necessary for, or incidental to, the construction, establishment or operation of the installation; (d). Airstrip AND In the Warraber v State of Queensland determination area comprises the land and inland waters of Warraber (Sue) Island, Guiar Islet, Bubui (Lowry) Islet, Ulu (Saddle) Island, Bara Island, Ugain (Ninepin) Rock, Miggi-Maituin (Meggi-Maituine) Island, Dugong Islet but not including the following areas: (a). Roads; (b). Land east of the barge landing on which the Telstra mast and equipment shelter are situated, including any adjacent land the use of which is or was necessary for, or incidental to, the construction, establishment or operation of the installation; (c). Land on which Ergon Energy Corporation power station is situated including any adjacent land the use of which is or was necessary for, or incidental to, the construction, establishment or operation of the installation; (d). The Airstrip
Legal Status: Registered on the National Native Title Register o
Legal Reference: Federal Court No: QG6087/98; National Native Title
Alternative Names:
  • Warraber People v State of Queensland and others
  • Porumalgal Poruma People Determination
  • Warraber People Determination
  • Poruma People v State of Queensland
  • Subject Matter:Native Title | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership | Local Government | Native Title | Housing, Construction and Infrastructure
    URL: http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/disp.pl/au/cases/cth/federal%5fct/2000/1066.html?query=title+%28+%22poruma%22+%29
    Summary Information:
    Poruma People v State of Queensland [2000] FCA 1066 AND Warraber People v State of Queensland

    Between: Poruma People (APPLICANTS) AND
    State of Queensland, Torres Strait Regional Authority, Telstra Corporation Limited, Ergon Energy Corporation Limited and Others (Al Moller-Nielsen, Barry Wilson, Bernard Bradley, Bruce Rose, Carl D'Arguiar, Darly O'Hanlon, Frank Swinburne, Mark Millward, Mark Willis, Neville Davies, Paul Green, Phillip Hughes) (RESPONDENTS)

    Judge: Drummond J
    Where: Poruma (Coconut) Island, Torres Strait, Queensland.

    AND

    Between: Warraber People (APPLICANTS) AND
    State of Queensland, Torres Strait Regional Authority, Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Telstra Corporation Limited, Ergon Energy Corporation Limited and Others (Al Moller-Nielsen, Barry Wilson, Bernard Bradley, Bruce Rose, Carl D'arguiar, Darly O'hanlon, Frank Swinburne, Mark Millward, Mark Willis, Neville Davies, Paul Green, Phillip Hughes) (RESPONDENTS)

    Judge:Drummond J
    Where: Poruma (Coconut) Island, Torres Strait, Queensland.

    Determination: Native title exists in relation to the determination areas as shown on the maps annexed to the Orders.
    Detailed Information:
    These two consent determinations were delivered together and involve the Poruma People of Poruma (Coconut) Island and Warraber People of Warraber Island. The two peoples are closely connected by 'ties of kinship and common language' and have traditionally had connections with each other's land. The native title of the Poruma People is to be held on trust by the Porumalgal (Torres Strait Islander) Corporation and the native title of the Warraber People is to be held on trust by the Warraberalgal (Torres Strait Islander) Corporation.

    Both consent determinations declared that the Poruma People and Warraber People were the common law holders of the land in their respective claim areas. The communal and group rights and interests which comprise native title ensure they may posses, occupy, use and enjoy the land subject to their traditional laws and customs. The nature and extent of these rights was explored in further detail by Justice Drummond in the consent determinations. As with the majority of consent determinations, the orders were made in respect of land that was either unallocated crown land, reserved land or land already held by, or for the benefit of, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander People. Both claims excluded certain roads, a couple of lots of land, particular land used by the Telstra Corporation and the Ergon Energy Corporation, and airstrips on each island.

    There were a number of other rights and interests in the claim area of Poruma Island that were recognised by the consent determination. They include the powers of the Coconut Island Council under the Community Services (Torres Strait) Act 1984to discharge the functions of local government in accordance with the Deed of Grant in Trust granted on 17 October 1985 to the Coconut Island Council under the Land Act 1962. The rights and interests of the Coconut Island Council and persons under the Deed in Grant of Trust are also protected. In addition, the consent determination recognised the interest of holders of leases granted under the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (Land Holding) Act 1985.

    There were also a number of other rights and interests in the claim area of Warraber Island that were recognised by the consent determination. They include the powers of the Sue Island Council under the Community Services (Torres Strait) Act 1984 to discharge the functions of local government in accordance with the Deed of Grant in Trust granted on 17 October 1985 to the Sue Island Council under the Land Act 1962. The rights and interests of the Sue Island Council and persons under the Deed in Grant of Trust are also protected, along with the rights of the Gau Land Trust pursuant to the Deed of Grant in Trust which took effect on 22 August 1998 under the Torres Strait Islander Land Act 1991. The interests of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority as owner and operator of the navigational aid facility on Warraber Island were recognised as the right to enter the claim area in accordance with the law and those interests which exist under the Deed of Agreement made with the representatives of the Warraber People.

    Both consent determinations recognised the rights and interests of other Indigenous peoples in the area, consequently Indigenous Papua New Guinea persons are entitled to have access to the determination area for traditional purposes. The Poruma People's determination also recognised the right of Warraber people to enter, live upon and use the area in accordance with their traditional laws and customs. The rights and interest of both Papua New Guinea and Australia in the claim area are further protected by the Treaty between Australia and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea concerning the area known as the Torres Strait, and Related Matters.

    In both consent determinations, the interests of the Telstra Corporation Limited and Ergon Energy Limited are protected in the exercise their statutory functions, operation of their facilities and maintenance of their infrastructure. Both corporations have their rights additionally protected by separate Deeds of Agreement with the respective representatives of the native title holders. The Crown and the State of Queensland also hold interests pursuant to any statute or valid executive or legislative act that was current at the date of this determination. The rights and interests of other parties prevail over the rights and interests of the native title holders when they cannot exist concurrently.

    Justice Drummond noted that the native title of the Warraber and Poruma People was subject to extinguishments by either the lawful powers of the Commonwealth or State of Queensland or the lawful grants or creation of interests pursuant to the laws of the Commonwealth or State of Queensland.

    Related Entries

    Agreement
  • Porumalgal and Ergon Energy Electricity Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) - Requirement
  • Warraberalgal / Ergon Energy Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) - Requirement
  • Warraber / Telstra Island Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) - Requirement
  • Treaty between Australia and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea
  • Coconut Island Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) - Requirement
  • Jack Billy on behalf of the Poruma People v State of Queensland and Ors [2005] FCA 1115 (15 August 2005)
  • Poruma Island Sewerage Scheme Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Organisation
  • State of Queensland - Respondent
  • Torres Strait Regional Authority - Respondent
  • Telstra Corporation Limited - Respondent
  • Ergon Energy Corporation Limited - Respondent
  • Australian Maritime Safety Authority - Respondent
  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • Federal Court of Australia
  • Poruma Island Council
  • Gau Land Trust
  • Warraberalgal (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation
  • Porumalgal (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation
  • Legislation
  • Land Act 1962 (Qld)
  • Torres Strait Islander Land Act 1991 (Qld)
  • Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (Land Holding) Act 1985 (Qld)
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Community Services (Torres Strait) Act 1984 (Qld)
  • People
  • Poruma People - Native Title Claimant
  • Warraber People - Native Title Claimant
  • Al Moller-Nielson and Others - Respondent

  • References

    Case Law
    Commonwealth of Australia (2000) Poruma People v State of Queensland [2000] FCA 1066 (7 July 2000)
    Media Release
    National Native Title Tribunal 'Native Title Agreements Double with Torres Strait Determinations'
    Resource
    National Native Title Tribunal (2004) Native Title by Consent Determinations

    Documents

    Map
    Warraber Peoplev State of Queensland [2000] FCA 1066 (7 July 2000) Map - ( PDF | Thumbnail | Image)
    Poruma People v State of Queensland [2000] FCA 1066 (7 July 2000) Map - ( Image | Thumbnail | PDF)

    Glossary

    Native Title (Australia) | Deed of Grant in Trust (DOGIT) (Australia) | Consent Determination (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia)

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