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Roberts on behalf of the Najig and the Guyanggan Nganawirdbird Groups v Northern Territory of Australia (No 3) [2012] FCA 223 ('Town of Mataranka')

Category: Agreement
Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 21 March 2012
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)
Location:Mataranka, Northern Territory, Australia
This consent determination covers the town of Mataranka, Northern Territory, 400 kilometres south of Darwin.
Legal Reference: National Native Title Tribunal: DC02/25 Federal Court of Australia: NTD6026/2002
Subject Matter:Access | Native Title | Native Title - Extinguishment | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests
URL: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCA/2012/223.html
Summary Information:
Roberts on behalf of the Najig and the Guyanggan Nganawirdbird Groups v Northern Territory of Australia (No 3) [2012] FCA 223 is a consent determination

Between:

Jessie Roberts & Others (for and on behalf of the Najig and the Guyanggan Nganawirdbird Groups) (APPLICANTS)

AND

Northern Territory of Australian (FIRST RESPONDENT)

APT Pipelines (NT) Pty Ltd (SECOND RESPONDENT)

Conservation Land Corporation (THIRD RESPONDENT)

Roper Gulf Shire Council (FOURTH RESPONDENT)

Northern Cement Ltd (FIFTH RESPONDENT)

Northern Territory Land Corporation (SIXTH RESPONDENT)

Telstra Corporation Ltd (EIGTH RESPONDENT)


Judge: Finn J

Where made: Mataranka

Determination:

Native title exists in parts of the determination area. Schedule C outlines the exclusive areas and the non-exclusive areas. Whereas Schedule D outlines the areas where native title does not exist.

The determination area consists of

Native title is held by the Najig and Guyanggan Nganawirdbird groups. These groups also include people who have patrilineal descent, whose parents or great grandparents had patrilineal descent and those who have been adopted or incorporated into the group.

Native title rights and interests that exist over land and water in the determination area include:
- the right to travel and access;
- the right to hunt and to fish;
- the right to gather and to use the natural resources;
- the right to take and to use the natural water;
- the right to live, to camp and erect shelters;
- the right to light fires;
- the right to conduct and to participate in: cultural activities; cultural practices relating to birth and death, including burial rites; ceremonies; meetings; teaching the physical and spiritual attributes of sites and places.
- the right to maintain and to protect sites and places of significance;
- the right to share or exchange subsistence and other traditional resources;
- the right to be accompanied on to those areas by certain persons;
- the right to conduct activities necessary to give effect to the rights mentioned above.

Native title rights and interest do not exist over mineral, petroleum and substances relating to the production of atomic energy.

Non-native title rights that exist over the determination area include:
- the interests of Territory Housing, Department of Housing, Local Government and Sport (in relation to Lot 50);
- the interests of the Mataranka Aboriginal Land Trust under its freehold title granted on 5 December 1991 (in relation to NT Portions 3858 and 3859);
- the interests of the Northern Territory Land Corporation under Crown Lease Perpetual 197 (in relation to part NT Portion 2255);
- the interests of the Conservation Land Corporation under Crown Lease Perpetual 600 (in relation to part NT Portion 3069);
- the interests of Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory and the interests of the public (in relation to NT Portion 907 and part NT Portion 3069;
- valid rights of use as a stock route and for the passage of travelling stock (in relation to NT Portion 4092);
- the rights and interests of Telstra Corporation Limited;
- the rights and interests of APT Pipelines (NT) (in relation to part NT portion 2255);
- interests granted under the Mining Act (NT)
- the rights of Aboriginal persons (whether or not native title holders) by virtue of the Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act (NT);
- the interests of members of the public arising from rights of access to and use of the beds, banks and waters of Roper Creek (in relation to NT Portion 5228)
- rights of access by an employee of the Northern Territory, Commonwealth, or other statutory authority to perform statutory duties; and
- the interests of persons who have interests granted by the Crown or conferred by Statute.
Detailed Information:
Background

The application was lodged on 20 August 2002. It has taken nearly a decade for the matter to be finalised and Judge Finn expressed regret in his Judgment that it had taken some long. The Judge said that attitudes to Native Title are changing after unrealistic expectations were created by the Mabo case. Finn J said 'we are thankfully getting closer to an environment in which co-operation and goodwill and reasonable accommodations are replacing distrust, hostility and onerous requirements of proof' (ABC).

This decision is the third consent determination in the history of Native Title to cover a town area. The towns of Alice Springs and Timber Creek have also had Native Title claims made over them.

On being granted Native Title the Najig and Guyanggan Ngannawirdbird people performed a traditional corroboree to celebrate their success. The Northern Land Council, who represented the traditional land owners, stated that they hoped the determination will allow traditional owners to have more say over the future use of the land. (ABC)

Related Entries

Agreement
  • Roberts on behalf of the Najig and the Guyanggan Nganawirdbird Groups v Northern Territory of Australia [2012] FCA 255 ('Mataranka') (in progress)
  • Organisation
  • Northern Territory of Australia
  • Conservation Land Corporation
  • Roper Gulf Shire Council
  • Northern Territory Land Corporation
  • Telstra Corporation Limited
  • APT Pipelines (NT) Pty Ltd
  • Northern Cement Ltd
  • People
  • Jessie Roberts and & Others (for and on behalf of the Najig and the Guyanggan Nganawirdbird Groups)

  • References

    General Reference
    National Native Title Tribunal (21 March 2012) Native Title determination summary - Town of Mataranka
    Steven Schubert (21 March 2012) Mataranka native title decision handed down
    Newspaper Article
    Claire Rawlinson (21 March 2012) Mataranka native title claim passed after ten year wait

    Glossary

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Australia) | Claimant Application (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Consent Determination (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Extinguishment (Australia) | National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) (Australia) | Native Title (Australia) | Native Title Determination (Australia) | Native Title Holders (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Traditional Owner Group (Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act 1976 (Cth)) (Australia)

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