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Wilson v Northern Territory of Australia [2009] FCA 800 (31 July 2009)

Category: Agreement
Date: 31 July 2009
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)
Location:Elliott, Northern Territory, Australia
Elliott is located in the central area of the Northern Territory on the Stuart Highway, more than 700 kilometres north of Alice Springs.
Legal Status: Registered on the National Native Title Tribunal
Legal Reference: Federal Court No: WAD6281/1998; National Native Title Tribunal No: WC98/65
Alternative Names:
  • Town of Elliott
  • Subject Matter:Native Title
    URL: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/federal_ct/2009/800.html
    Summary Information:
    Between: Heather Wilson, Susan Raymond and Lindsay Bostock on behalf of the Elliott (Gurungu/Kulumintini) Group and Others (APPLICANTS) and Northern Territory of Australia (RESPONDENTS)

    Judge: Reeves J
    Where made: Elliott, Northern Territory

    Determination:

    Native title exists in parts of the determination area- those contained in schedules A, B and C.

    Native title does not exist in the parts of the determination area identified in schedule D.

    Members of the Elliott (Gurungu/Kulumintini) estate group and others hold native title.

    The native title rights and interests that exist in the area include the right to possess, occupy and use the land, to hunt, fish, gather, erect shelters, light fires and conduct cultural activities, among others.

    The non-native title interests that exist in the area include leases and rights conferred under statute, among others.

    Detailed Information:
    This determination concerns an area of approximately 143.9 hectares, made up of various allotments in and around the town of Elliott. Native title exists in the parts of the determination area identified in schedule C of the decision (made up of several lots). In the areas identified in item 1(a) of the schedule, native title rights and interests are held exclusively. In section 1(b), they are held non-exclusively. In the parts of the determination area identified in Schedule D, native title does not exist (various lots).

    The native title claim group is comprised of fifteen Mudburra or Jingili or mixed Mudburra/Jingili estate groups. The primary estate group, hoever, is the Elliott estate group (Gurungu/Kulumintini). All fifteen groups are recognised as having exclusive and non-exclusive native title rights and interests within the claim area.

    The native title rights and interests that exist in the exclusive areas are:
  • The right to possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of the land to the exclusion of all others
  • The right to travel over and have access to native title areas
  • The right to hunt and fish in the area
  • The right to gather and use the natural resources in the area
  • The right to take and use water in the area
  • The right to live, camp and erect shelters and other structures in the area
  • The right to light fires for domestic purposes in the area
  • The right to conduct and participate in cultural activities, cultural practices relating to birth and death, ceremonies, meetings and teaching the physical and spiritual attributes of sites and places of significance under traditional laws and customs
  • The right to maintain and protect sites and places of significance in the area
  • The right to exchange subsistence and other traditional resources from those areas
  • The right to be accompanied by people who, although not native title holders, are required by law and custom for ceremonies or cultural activities, have rights in relation to law and custom acknowledged by estate members, people required by estate members to assist in, observe or record traditional activities

    The native title rights that exist in the non-exclusive areas are:
  • The right to travel over, move about and have access to those areas
  • The right to hunt and fish in the area
  • The right to gather and use the natural resources in the area
  • The right to take and use the water on those areas
  • The right to camp in the area
  • The right to light fires for domestic purposes in the area

    The non-native title interests that exist in the determination area:
  • A building lease
  • A pipeline lease
  • The use of passage for travelling stock
  • The rights of Aboriginal people by virtue of the Northern Territory Sacred Sites Act 1989 (NT)
  • The right of access by an employee, servant, agent or instrumentality of the government
  • People who have been granted rights by the Crown or by statute

    To clarify, there are no native title rights and interests in minerals, petroleum, prescribed substances (as defined in the Atomic Energy Act 1953 (Cth)

    Reeves J found that the Northern Territory had taken a real and significant interest in the proceedings, that the parties had the benefit of independent and competent legal representation in developing the agreement, that the terms of the agreement were clear and that the agreement had been produced as a result of negotiation. The Court, therefore, was able to make the consent determination.

    The full text of the determination, along with the annexures and schedules is available at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/federal_ct/2009/800.html.

  • Related Entries

    Agreement
  • Indigenous Land Use Agreement relating to Infrastructure on Part Lot 140, Town of Elliott
  • Organisation
  • Northern Territory of Australia - Respondent
  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • Northern Land Council
  • Federal Court of Australia
  • Commonwealth of Australia
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • People
  • Gurungu/Kulumintini People - Native Title Claimant
  • Heather Wilson and Others on behalf of the Elliott (Gurungu/Kulumintini) Group and Others - Native Title Claimant

  • References

    General Reference
    National Native Title Tribunal (2009) Native Title Determination Summary- Town of Elliott
    National Native Title Tribunal (2009) Rights Recognised for People of Elliott
    National Native Title Tribunal (2009) Background: Town of Elliott Native Title Determination
    Federal Court of Australia (31 July 2009) Wilson v Northern Territory of Australia [2009] FCA 800

    Glossary

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

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