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Trevor Close on behalf of the Githabul People v Minister for Lands [2007] FCA 1847 (29 November 2007)

Category: Agreement
Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 29 December 2007
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)
State/Country:New South Wales, Australia
The area covered by the determination includes an area of Crown land in north east New South Wales, centred around the town of Woodenbong. The final determination covers approximately 1,120 square kilometres.
Legal Status: Registered on the National Native Title Register (of native title determinations).
Legal Reference: Federal Court No: NSD6019/98 (or NSD 6019 of 1998); National Native Title Tribunal No: NC 95/11.
Alternative Names:
  • Trevor Close on behalf of the Githabul People v Minister for Lands
  • The Githabul People
  • Subject Matter:Access | Land Use | Native Title | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests
    Summary Information:
    Trevor Close on behalf of the Githabul People v Minister for Lands [2007] FCA 1847 (29 November 2007)


    Trevor Close on behalf of the Githabul People (APPLICANT)


    Minister for Lands, NTSCORP Limited and Casino Rural Lands Protection Board (RESPONDENTS)

    Judge: Branson J
    Where made: Woodenbong


    Non-exclusive native title exists in the determination area. It is the first positive determination of native title in New South Wales in the last decade (NNTT Media Release, 2007).
    Detailed Information:
    On 29 December 2007 Branson J recognised that the Githabul people have non-exclusive native title rights in nine national parks and 13 state forests in northern New South Wales. The determination concludes the native title application which was lodged on 5 September 1995.

    Native title rights and interests

    By agreement, the parties have established that the Githabul People hold native title rights over the areas outlined above:

  • to access, and camp on, the Consent Determination Area;
  • to fish, hunt and gather flora and fauna for personal and non-commercial use;
  • to take and use water for personal, domestic and non-commercial communal purposes;
  • to practice traditional laws and customs; and
  • access to and protection of sites of spiritual significance to the Githabul people.

    According to the NNTT Media Release, benefits to the Githabul people include the involvement in park and reserve management, consultation in state forests, employment and the transfer of 102 hectares of Crown Land in freehold.

    The native title rights and interests in the determination area are subject to, but not extinguished by, the laws of the State of New South Wales and the Commonwealth, the traditional laws and customs of the Githabul people and the terms of the Githabul People Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (see below).

    The native title rights and interests do not include a right to exclusive possession, to exclude others from the Consent Determination Area, or to make decisions concerning the use of land or waters (though the ILUA provides for negotiated co-management of the Consent Determination Area by the native title holders and the NSW Government).

    Githabul Nation Aboriginal Corporation

    The Githabul Nation Aboriginal Corporation is named as the prescribed body corporate for the purposes of s 56, 57(2) and 57(3) of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) (Determination, para 9). That is, the native title rights and interests are vested in the Githabul Nation Aboriginal Corporation as agent for the Githabul People.


    Tom Calma, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, stated of the agreement: "This is a truly outstanding outcome and testament to the cooperation and goodwill of not only the Githabul People themselves but also the NSW Government ... This is a historic moment for the Githabul People and the entire reconciliation and Indigenous land reform process" (Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 2007).

  • Related Entries

  • Githabul People Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Organisation
  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • Githabul Nation Aboriginal Corporation
  • Casino Rural Lands Protection Board - Respondent
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • People
  • Githabul People
  • Minister for Lands for the State of New South Wales - Respondent
  • Trevor Close - Native Title Claimant

  • Glossary

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

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