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Miller v Northern Territory [2015] FCA 1251

Category: Agreement
Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 26 November 2015
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)
Location:Barkly Region , Northern Territory , Australia
NT Portions 556, 677, 2101, 4152 and 794 (note typographical error to be resolved in relation to portion 794).
Legal Status: Registered on the National Native Title Register of native title determinations.
Legal Reference: Federal Court No: NTD26/2024; Native Title Tribunal No: DCD2015/010
Alternative Names:
  • Mallapunyah Springs Pastoral Lease
  • Miller v Northern Territory
  • Subject Matter:Access | Cultural Heritage | Native Title | Pastoral Activities
    URL: http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/cth/FCA/2015/1286.html?context=1;query=Miller%20v%20Northern%20Territory;mask_path
    Summary Information:
    Miller v Northern Territory of Australia
    Between: Aidie Miller, Timothy Lansen, Nelson Hogan and Billy Ellis JNR on behalf of the Rrumburriya Mararabarna and Wuyaliya Warrgi Estate Groups (APPLICANTS) and Northern Territory of Australia, Mallapunyah Springs Pty Ltd Go West Cattle CO Pty Ltd, Battlin Cattle Co Pty Ltd, Ripple Resources Pty Ltd and Armour Energy Limited, Tamboran (Beetaloo) Pty Ltd (RESPONDENTS)

    Judge: Mansfield J

    Where Made: Darwin

    Determination

    Native title exists in parts of the determination area. It consists of areas of non-exclusive native title rights.

    Native title is held by the Rrumburriya Mararabarna estate group and Wuyaliya Warrgi estate group.

    Non-exclusive native title rights and interests that exist within determination area include:
    - the right to travel over the land
    - hunting and fishing
    - gather and use natural resources including food, medicinal plants, wild tobacco, timber, stone and resin
    - the right to use water but not water captured by the holders of Perpetual Pastoral lease
    - the right to live and camp
    - lighting fires for domestic purposes
    - conduct and participate in the cultural activities, including cultural ceremonies relating to birth, death and burial rites, spiritual practices
    - teaching the physical and spiritual attributes of sites and places that are of cultural significance
    - maintain and protect places of cultural significance
    - to share or exchange traditional resources obtained in the area
    - to be accompanied by people who are required by law, custom or the native title holders to attend or be part of traditional activities, ceremonies or cultural activities.

    Neighbouring Aboriginal members of the estate groups and spouses of estate group members also have rights in accordance with traditional laws and customs in the determination area.

    Non-native title rights and interests that exist within the determination area:
    - interests of Mallapunyah Springs Pty Ltd under the Perpetual Pastoral Lease No. 1075
    - Telstra Corporation Limited as the owner of Telecommunication facilities within the area to conduct inspections and ensure the proper functioning of its equipment under the Post and Telegraph Act 1901 (Cth), the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth), the Australian Telecommunications Corporation Act 1989 (Cth) and the Telecommunications Act 1991 (Cth) and the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth)
    - the rights of Aboriginal Persons (whether or not native title holders) under the Pastoral Land Act 2015 (NT)
    - the rights of Aboriginal persons (whether or not native title holders) under the Northern Territory Sacred Sites Act 2013 (NT)
    - interests under the Mineral Titles Act 2012 (NT) and the Petroleum Act 2015 (NT)
    - rights of agents or employees of the Northern Territory or the Commonwealth.

    Native title rights and interests do not exist in:
    - Minerals (as defined in s 2 of the Minerals (Acquisition) Act 2011 (NT));
    - Petroleum (as defined in s 5 of the Petroleum Act 2015 (NT));
    - Prescribed substances (as defined in s 3 of the Atomic Energy (Control of Materials) Act 1946 (Cth) and/or s 5(1) of the Atomic Energy Act 1953 (Cth)).


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

    The Top End (Default PBC/CLA) Aboriginal Corporations RNTBC, as the prescribed body corporate, is to perform functions required under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and to act as agent for the native title holders. Native title is not held in trust for the native title holders.

    Detailed Information:
    Background:
    The determination area is located in the Barkly Region of the Northern Territory. Native title exists in the following: NT Portions 556, 677, 2101 and 4152 being land that is the subject of Perpetual Lease No. 1075. The extract from the Native Title Register notes a typographical error for NT Portion 794. This error is to be resolved. The determination areas surround the township of Borroloola and runs from the Gulf of Carpentaria roughly south and spreads east and west below the township.

    The decision involved a proposed consent determination which had been sent to the parties for endorsement. All parties consented, other than the Pastoral Lease Respondent, who did not accept the description of the native title claim group. The Pastoral Lease Respondent asserted the Raggett Family should be recognised as the holders of native title interests. This question was resolved following the Court's acceptance of an anthropological report finding that the Raggett family were part of the native title claim.

    Miller and others on behalf of the Rrumburriya Mararabarna and Wuyaliya Warrgi Estate Groups filed an application pursuant to the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) seeking recognition of native title rights and interests over the land and waters within the boundaries of the Mallapunyah Springs Pastoral Lease. There were a number of claims that were dealt with together due to the proximity of the determination areas.


    Details of judgement:
    Through mediation, agreement has been reached as to the terms of the native title to provide recognition of the native title rights and interests held by the Rrumburriya Mararabarna estate group and the Wuyaliya Warrgi estate group in relation to part of the land and waters covered by the application. The signed agreement was then filed with 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

    Organisation
  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • Northern Territory of Australia - Respondent
  • Mallapunyah Springs Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Go West Cattle Co Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Battlin Cattle Co Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Ripple Resources Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Armour Energy Limited - Respondent
  • Tamboran (Beetaloo) Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Top End (Default PBC/CLA) Aboriginal Corporations RNTBC
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • Petroleum Act (NT)
  • Pastoral Land Act 1992 (NT)
  • Minerals (Acquisition) Act (NT)
  • Atomic Energy Act 1953 (Cth)
  • Atomic Energy (Control of Materials) Act 1946 (Cth)
  • Telecommunications Act 1975 (Cth)
  • Australian Telecommunications Corporation Act 1989 (Cth)
  • Telecommunications Act 1991 (Cth)
  • Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth)
  • Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act 1989 (NT)
  • Mineral Titles Act 2010 (NT)
  • People
  • Rrumburriya Mararabarna estate group - Native Title Applicants
  • Wuyaliya Warrgi estate group - Native Title Applicants

  • References

    General Reference
    National Native Title Tribunal (2016) National Native Title Tribunal extract from the National Native Title Register (of native title determinations) for Federal Court matter number NTD26/2014 as at 03/05/16.
    AIATSIS (2015) What's new in Native Title - November 2015

    Documents

    Map
    Miller v Northern Territory - Schedule B Map of Determination Area - ( PDF)
    Miller v Northern Territory - Schedule E - ( PDF)
    Miller v Northern Territory - National Native Title Register Extract - ( PDF)

    Glossary

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

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