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Johnson on behalf of the Tableland Yidinji People v State of Queensland [2012] FCA 1417

Category: Agreement
Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 14 December 2012
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)
Location:Tablelands, Far North Queensland , Queensland , Australia
About 20 kilometres north-east of Atherton, Queensland
Legal Status: Registered on the National Native Title Tribunal Register of Consent Determinations
Legal Reference: Tribunal file no.: QC1999/036 Federal Court no.: QUD6030/1999
Alternative Names:
  • Tableland Yidinji People
  • Subject Matter:Access | Collaboration / Partnership | Land Management | Native Title | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership
    URL: http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/FCA/2012/1417.html
    Summary Information:
    Between:
    Evelyn (Dawn) Johnson and Catherine (Nola) Joseph on behalf of the Tableland Yidinji People #1 (APPLICANTS)
    and
    The State of Queensland, Cairns Regional Council, Tablelands Regional Council and Ergon Energy Corporation Ltd (RESPONDENTS)

    Judge: Dowsett J

    Where made: Atherton

    Determination:

    Native title is held communally by the Tableland Yidinji People:

    Native title exists over the determination area.
    It consists of non-exclusive native title rights.

    The native title rights and interests that exist in the determination area include:
    - the right to access, be present on, move about on and travel over the area;
    - the right to camp and build temporary shelters;
    - the right to hunt, fish and gather on the land and waters of the area for personal, domestic and non-commercial communal purposes;
    - the right to take, use and share natural resources from the land and waters of the area for personal, domestic and non-commercial communal purposes;
    - the right to take and use the water of the area for personal, domestic and non-commercial communal purposes;
    - the right to light fires on the area for domestic purposes including cooking, but not for the purpose of hunting or clearing vegetation;
    - the right to conduct ceremonies on the area;
    - the right to teach on the area the physical and spiritual attributes of the area;
    - the right to maintain places of importance and areas of significance to the native title holders under their traditional laws and customs and protect those places and areas from physical harm; and
    - the right to be buried and bury native title holders within the area.


    Non-native title rights and interests that exist within the determination area can be summarised as

    The rights and interests of the parties under the following indigenous land use agreements (ILUA):

    - the Tableland Yidinji Protected Areas ILUA;
    - Cairns Regional Council Tableland Yidinji ILUA;
    - the Tablelands Regional Council ILUA; and
    - Ergon Energy and Tableland Yidinji People ILUA.

    The rights and interests of Telstra Corporation Limited:

    - as the owner or operator of telecommunications facilities within the Determination Area;
    - created pursuant to the Post and Telegraph Act 1901 (Cth), the Telecommunications Act 1975 (Cth), the Australian Telecommunications Corporation Act 1989 (Cth), the Telecommunications Act 1991 (Cth) and the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth), including rights to inspect land, to install and operate existing and new telecommunication facilities, to alter, remove, replace, maintain, repair and ensure the proper functioning of its telecommunications facilities, for its employees, agents or contractors to access its telecommunications facilities in the determination area.

    The rights and interests of Ergon Energy Corporation Limited:

    - as the owner and operator of any 'Works' within the determination area;
    - as a distribution entity and the holder of a distribution authority under the Electricity Act 1994 (Qld); and
    - created under the Electricity Act 1994 (Qld) and the Government Owned Corporations Act 1993 (Qld) including rights in relation to any agreement relating to the determination area, rights to enter the determination area by its employees, agents or contractors to exercise any of the rights and interests referred to above and to inspect, maintain and manage any Works in the determination area.

    The rights and interests of the State of Queensland, the Cairns Regional Council or the Tablelands Regional Council to access, use, operate, maintain and control the dedicated roads in the determination area and the rights and interests of the public to use and access the roads.

    The rights and interests of the State of Queensland in reserves, the rights and interests of the trustees of those reserves and the rights and interests of the persons entitled to access and use those reserves.

    The rights and interests of the Cairns Regional Council under the Local Government Act 2009 (Qld) including any rights the Cairns Regional Council or its employees or agents have as owner and operator of infrastructure, facilities and other improvements which are in the determination area as at the date of this determination and to enter and exercise rights within the determination area in accordance with the Local Government Act 2009.

    The rights and interests of the Tablelands Regional Council under the Local Government Act 2009 (Qld) including as owner and operator of infrastructure, facilities and other improvements in the Determination Area and the rights of its employees, agents and contractors to enter upon the determination area for the purpose of exercising Council's powers and responsibilities.

    The rights and interests of the holders of any licences, permits or allocations issued under the Fisheries Act 1994 (Qld).

    The rights and interests of the State of Queensland or any other person existing by reason of the force and operation of the laws of the State of Queensland, including those existing by reason of the following legislation or any regulation, statutory instrument, declaration, plan, authority, permit, lease or licence made, granted, issued or entered into under that legislation.


    In the case of conflict, the exercise of non-native title rights and interests will prevail over the non-exclusive native title.

    Provisions Relevant to the Native Title Rights

    The Tableland Yidinji people must file within 6 months of the determination, submissions that show that the Tableland Yidinji Aboriginal Corporation has amended its rules so that it allows any of the native title holders, who are of 18 years of age, but no other persons, to apply for membership. The Tableland Yidinji Aboriginal Corporation is the prescribed body corporate and is to perform functions required under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and to act as agent for the native title holders.

    The native title is not to be held in trust for the native title holders.
    Detailed Information:
    Background

    In 1998 the Tableland Yidinji people filed two applications for determination as to the existence of native title which were combined on 1 August 2000.

    The Tableland Yidinji determination recognises non-exclusive native title rights and interests over an area of approximately 151 square kilometres of land in Far North Queensland including Danbulla National Park next to Lake Tinaroo near Atherton. The determination area includes areas of community purpose reserves, national park, state forest and forest reserves.

    In addition to the determination, the Tableland Yidinji People have also negotiated a number of Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUA) with the State of Queensland and other respondent parties. The State's ILUA will establish how native title rights and interests will be exercised in the protected areas subject to the determination, including Danbulla, Dinden, Little Mulgrave, Gadgara and Crater Lakes National Parks and various forest reserves located around these parks.

    The determination is only part of traditional Yidinji country. The anthropologists report for the claim stated that Yidinyji country stretches from the Cairns and coastal region south of Cairns up through the Goldsborough Valley and Mulgrave River regions to the Atherton Tablelands.

    Details of Judgement
    Through mediation, agreement has been reached as to the terms of a determination of native title to provide recognition of the native title rights and interests held by the Tableland Yidinji People in relation to part of the land and waters covered by the Tableland Yidinji Application.
    The signed agreement was then filed in the Federal Court pursuant to s 87 of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

    The court was satisfied that a determination of native title was within the power of the court.

    Related Entries

    Agreement
  • Ergon Energy and Tableland Yidinji People Indigneous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Tableland Yidinji People and Tablelands Regional Council Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Johnson on behalf of the Tableland Yidinji People 3 v State of Queensland [2013] FCA 280
  • Tableland Yidinji Protected Areas Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Organisation
  • Cairns Regional Council - Respondent
  • Ergon Energy Corporation Limited - Respondent
  • State of Queensland - Respondent
  • Tablelands Regional Council - Respondent
  • Tableland Yidinji Aboriginal Corporation - Aboriginal Representative Party
  • Legislation
  • Telecommunications Act 1975 (Cth)
  • Australian Telecommunications Corporation Act 1989 (Cth)
  • Telecommunications Act 1991 (Cth)
  • Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth)
  • Electricity Act 1994 (Qld)
  • Local Government Act 2009 (Qld)
  • Government Owned Corporations Act 1993 (Qld)
  • Fisheries Act 1994 (Qld)
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • People
  • Mr Lloyd Stewart (aka Con Stewart), Ms Evelyn (Dawn) Johnson and Mrs Catherine (Nola) Joseph on their own behalf and on behalf of the Tableland Yidinji People - Native Title Applicants

  • References

    General Reference
    National Native Title Tribunal (14/12/2012) Native title determination summary - Tableland Yidinji People
    ABC News (14 December 2012) Court to grant far north Qld native title
    Media Release
    Department of Natural Resources and Mines (Queensland Government) (2013) Tableland Yidinji People’s native title rights recognised

    Glossary

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Australia) | Aboriginal Corporation (Australia) | Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) (Australia) | National Park | Native Title (Australia) | Native Title Applicants | Native Title Determination (Australia) | Consent Determination (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Native Title Registers | Native Title Holders (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Native Title Representative Body (NTRB) (Australia) | Native Title Applications/Claims (Australia) | Respondent

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