Attorney-General of the Northern Territory v Ward [2003] FCAFC 283 (Western Australia Area 2)

Category: Agreement
Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 26 July 2005
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)
Location:Western Australia, Australia
The Determination Area in Western Australia is described in Schedule 1 of the Determination. The area where native title exists is identified in Schedule 2 of the Determination and the area where native title does not exist is identified in Schedule 3 of the Determination. The area of the Northern Territory determination is described in the Schedule to that Determination.
Legal Status: Registered on the National Native Title Register (
Legal Reference: Federal Court File No. WAD6001/95; National Native
Alternative Names:
  • Miriuwung-Gajerrong (Western Australia Area 2)
  • Subject Matter:Native Title | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership | Native Title - Extinguishment
    URL: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCAFC/2003/283.html
    Summary Information:
    Attorney-General of the Northern Territory v Ward [2003] FCAFC 283

    This is one of three consent determinations arising out of this case (see under 'Related Agreements' below).

    Between:
    In relation to the Western Australia area (On Remitter from the High Court in P59; P62; P63 and P67 of 2000)

    The State of Western Australia v Ben Ward & Ors
    WAG 6293 Of 1998

    Crosswalk Pty Ltd & Anor v Ben Ward & Ors
    WAG 6292 of 1998

    Alligator Airways Pty Ltd v Ben Ward & Ors
    WAG 6294 of 1998

    Argyle Diamond Mines Pty Ltd & Ors v Ben Ward & Ors
    WAG 6295 of 1998

    Judges: Wilcox, North And Weinberg JJ
    Where made: Kununurra
    Determination: Native title exists in the entire determination area.
    Location: North-east of Western Australia, being approximately 7,900 square kilometres of land and waters, including Boorrongoong (Lacrosse Island), near Kununurra.

    The native title holders are the Miriuwung, Yirralalem, Ngamoowalem, Wiram, Yardanggarlm, Nganalam Mandangala, Gajerrong, Doolboong, Wardenybeng, Gija and in respect of Boorroongoong (Lacrosse Island), also as Balangarra.

    The determination area is described in Schedule 1. The areas in which native title exists are described in Schedule 2 and the areas in which native title does not exist (see ‘Miriuwung-Gajerrong (Western Australia Area 1)’ under ‘Related Agreements’ below) are described in Schedule 3.

    The native title rights found to exist are exclusive in some areas, in which the native title holders can possess, occupy, use and enjoy the land to the exclusion of all others (these are described in paragraphs (1), (2), (3), (5) and (6) of Schedule 2). In other areas, the native holders have non-exclusive rights, including to access the land and waters; perform ceremonies; take flora and fauna from the land and waters; and care for and maintain sites and areas of significance (these are described in paragraphs (4), (7), (8) and (9) of Schedule 2).



    Note: The case deals with land subject to native title claims in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. Two agreements were reached and provided to the Federal Court as consent determinations at the time of the decision (9 December 2003). A third consent determination relating to areas where native title was found to exist in Western Australia was registered on the Native Title Register of Consent Determinations on 26 July 2005. This final consent determination was as a result of a court order that the determination in relation to the native title that was found to exist in the Western Australian area was only to "take effect" once a registered native title body corporate was identified as the prescribed body corporate (in line with the requirements of s 57 of the Native Title Act 1993(Cth) (NTA)).

    The three consent determinations are:
  • ‘Miriuwung-Gajerrong (Northern Territory’) in which native title was found to exist in the entire area;
  • ‘Miriuwung-Gajerrong (Western Australia Area 2)’ in which native title was found to exist in the entire area; and
  • ‘Miriuwung-Gajerrong (Western Australia Area 1)’ in which native title was found not to exist.
  • Detailed Information:
    The decision in this case is the final in a number of Federal and High Court decisions relating to the Miriuwung-Gajerrong #1 native title claim (National Native Title Tribunal file no. WC94/2; Federal Court No. WG6001/95). The Statement of the Court preceding this final decision provides a summary of these decisions and appeals. The notes prefacing each of the determinations in the decision also provide information about relevant actions leading to the decision. The Reasons for Judgement provided at the end of the determination in relation to the Northern Territory, include a 'History of the litigation' (Refer to the URL link to this decision below).

    The determinations set out the terms of the agreements, including: who holds native title; which rights and interests apply in relation to the areas of land where native title was determined to exist; and other (non-native title) rights and interests that exist in the areas. The determinations were made with the Miriuwung-Gajerrong people in relation to the Western Australia area and with the Miriuwung-Gajerrong and Balangarra peoples in relation to the Northern Territory. Each of the parties to the court proceedings became party to the consent determinations, including the Northern Territory of Australia and the State of Western Australia.

    Related Entries

    Agreement
  • Attorney-General of the Northern Territory v Ward [2003] FCAFC 283 (Northern Territory)
  • Attorney-General of the Northern Territory v Ward [2003] FCAFC 283 (Western Australia Area 1)
  • Organisation
  • State of Western Australia
  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • Miriuwung and Gajerrong #1 (Native Title Prescribed Body Corporate) Aboriginal Corporation
  • Crosswalk Pty Ltd
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • People
  • Ben Ward and others - Respondent
  • Miriuwung Gajerrong People
  • Balangarra People
  • Attorney-General of the Northern Territory
  • Case Law
  • Western Australia v Ward (2002) 191 ALR 1 (8 August 2002)

  • References

    Resource
    National Native Title Tribunal Native Title Hot Spots

    Documents

    Map
    Attorney-General of the Northern Territory v Ward [2003] FCAFC 283 (9 December 2003) Map - ( PDF | Thumbnail | Image)

    Glossary

    Native Title (Australia) | Consent Determination (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia)