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Gnaala Karla Booja Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)

Category: Agreement
Date: 17 October 2018
Sub Category:Future Act Agreement (Native Title Act) | Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Native Title Act)
Place:Land and waters south of Perth
State/Country:Western Australia, Australia
This ILUA covers about 31,500 sq km, approximately 25 km south of Perth. It extends south towards Busselton, eastward beyond Narrogin, and seawards to the three nautical mile limit. The area is within the jurisdiction of the City Councils of Armadale, Bunbury, Cockburn, Mandurah, Rockingham, Busselton, and Kwinana, and the Shire Councils of Beverley, Boddington, Boyup Brook, Bridgetown- Greenbushes, Brookton, Dardanup, Donnybrook-Balingup, Harvey, Kojonup, Murray, Narrogin, Pingelly, Serpentine-Jarrahadale, Wagin, Wandering, Waroona, West Arthur, Wickepin, Williams, and Woodanilling.
Legal Status:

Registered with the National Native Title Tribunal on the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements on 17 October 2018. This is an authorised area agreement under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

Legal Reference: National Native Title Tribunal File No.: WI2015/005
Subject Matter:Access | Collaboration / Partnership | Compensation | Consultation | Cultural Heritage | Economic Development | Environmental Heritage | Exploration | Fishing | Forestry | Future Act | Housing, Construction and Infrastructure | Land Settlement | Native Title | Native Title - Extinguishment | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests | Reconciliation | Water
URL: http://www.nntt.gov.au/searchRegApps/NativeTitleRegisters/Pages/ILUA_details.aspx?NNTT_Fileno=WI2015/005
Summary Information:

The Gnaala Karla Booja Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) was agreed, under the provisions of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) (the NTA), between:

  • Franklyn Nannup, Derrick Smith, Harry Narkle, Joseph Adrian Northover, Mervyn Neil Abraham, Peter Michael, Barbara Corbett-Councillor Stammer, Looraine Bellotti, Anthony Bennell, Glen Colbung, Dallas Coyne, Aden Eades, Ezzard Flowers, Jack Hill, Robert Isaacs, Carol Pettersen, Trevor Walley and Beryl Weston (the Noongar Native Title Agreement Group);
  • Minnie Eden Van Leeuwen;
  • the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council;
  • the State of Western Australia;
  • Conservation and Land Management Executive Body;
  • Conservation Commission of Western Australia (now the Conservation and Parks Commission);
  • Housing Authority;
  • Marine Parks and Reserves Authority (now the Conservation and Parks Commission);
  • Minister for Aboriginal Affairs;
  • Minister for Environment;
  • Minister for Lands;
  • Minister for Mines and Petroleum;
  • Minister for Water;
  • Water Corporation; and
  • Western Australian Land Authority (LandCorp).
  • This ILUA is one of six negotiated between the State of Western Australia (WA) and six Noongar native title agreement groups represented by the South West Aboriginal Sea and Land Council (SWALSC). Together the ILUAs contain the full details of the South West Native Title Settlement Agreement (the Noongar Settlement) and resolve all Noongar native title claims over the southwest region of Western Australia. The Noongar Settlement affects approximately 30,000 Noongar people and covers about 200,000 sq km of Noongar traditional land and waters (SWALSC). The Government of Western Australia hails it as a landmark native title agreement that recognises the Noongar people as traditional owners, creates a Noongar governance structure, includes sustainable assets, and is a significant step towards self-determination (Dept of Premier and Cabinet, Noongar Settlement). The SWALSC describes it as a "great opportunity for our Noongar people to come together, to control our own destiny, and to build a solid future for generations to come" (SWALSC).

    The full text for each of the six ILUAs of the Noongar Settlement is available via the 'related agreements' below.

    Detailed Information:

    Background to the Agreement:

    This agreement, the Gnaala Karla Booja ILUA, is one of six ILUAs that comprise the Noongar Settlement. Prior to the Noongar Settlement, the Noongar people's native title claims over the southwest region of Western Australia were subject to lengthy litigation.

    In 2003, the Noongar people made a single application to the Federal Court for a determination of native title over the southwest region of Western Australia. The court split the hearing of that application into two parts and dealt first with the area in and around Perth. In determining the application over the Perth area, Justice Wilcox decided that the Noongar people were a single community that held communal native title rights to occupy, use, and enjoy the lands and waters of the Perth area (see Bennell v Western Australia [2006] FCA 1243). On appeal to the Full Court in 2008, Justice Wilcox's ruling was overturned on the basis that his Honour had not considered the question required under s 223 of the NTA as to whether the
    Noongar people had a continued connection to the specific Perth area under traditional laws and customs, as opposed to a connection over the whole south-western region (see Bodney v Bennell [2008] FCAFC 63).

    The following year, in 2009, the SWALSC and the Western Australian Government (WA) agreed to seek a negotiated settlement and by October 2014 had formed an agreement in principle.

    Part of the agreement was the enactment of the Noongar (Koorah, Nitja, Boordahwan) (Past, Present, Future) Recognition Act 2016 (WA) which recognised the Noongar people as the traditional owners of the land of the southwest region with a continuing relationship to country. The act is a central component to the Noongar Settlement and is the first statute in Western Australia to incorporate an Aboriginal language (Dept of Premier and Cabinet, Noongar recognition through an act of Parliament). The Land Administration (South West Native Title Settlement) Act 2016 (WA) was enacted at the same time to provide for the conveyancing of land titles and licences for the benefit of the Noongar people.

    In early 2015, the SWALSC conducted six formal authorisation meetings in which the eligible Noongar people in the six native title claim areas voted in favour of the Noongar Settlement and the registration process of the six ILUAs began.

    In December 2015, applications were made contesting four of the ILUAs and asserting that they were not proper ILUAs within the meaning of the NTA. The Gnaala Karla Booja and the Yued ILUAs were not part of this dispute. These four applications were heard collectively and the challenge was successful (see McGlade v Native Title Registrar [2017] FCAFC 10). As a result of the McGlade decision, the Commonwealth amended the NTA through the passing of the Native Title Amendment (Indigenous Land Use Agreement) Act 2017. The amendments enabled a registered native title claim group to nominate a signatory to an area ILUA on their behalf or to sign by a simple majority, instead of requiring every named member of the group to sign. The four improper ILUAs were then replaced and on 17 October 2018, the Registrar entered all six ILUAs into the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements.

    In December 2018 the legality of all six ILUAs was challenged. The resulting judgment of the Federal Court held that the six ILUAS had been correctly registered. One of the grounds on which the ILUAs had been contested was based on the decision of the court in Northern Land Council v Quall [2019] FCAFC 77 which held that a Representative Body cannot delegate its function of certifying an ILUA.

    Six further applications were made to the High Court against the registration of the ILUAs in January 2020. The court has not yet decided whether to grant special leave to hear these legal challenges.

    Once all legal proceedings are resolved and the ILUAs are conclusively registered the Noongar Settlement will commence (Dept of Premier and Cabinet, Noongar Settlement).

    A timeline of the Noongar Settlement is available below under references.

    Details of the Agreement:

    The full terms of the Noongar Settlement are contained in Schedule 10 of the ILUA - see in documents below.

    Agreement area:

    The Gnaala Karla Booja ILUA covers about 31,500 sq km south of Perth.

    The Extract from the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements describes the area subject to this ILUA, per Schedule 1 of the ILUA, as all the land and waters within the boundary of the Gnaala Karla Booja native title determination application (Federal Court file no.: WAD6274/1998; NNTT file no.: WC1998/058), including the area within the 3 nautical mile limit.

    Commencement:

    The ILUA is binding from the date it was signed by all the parties. This is not specified in the Extract from the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements.

    Termination:

    The agreement will only terminate if any of the following events occur:

    1. the Noongar (Koorah, Nitja, Boordahwan)(Past, Present, Future) Recognition Bill 2015 and the Land Administration (South West Native Title Settlement) Bill 2015, as enacted, are not announced in the Gazette (see clause 1.3 of the Noongar Settlement);
    2. WA terminates it because the Noongar Settlement faces litigation or any of the related ILUAs are not registered (under clause 9.6 of the ILUA);
    3. the SWALSC terminates it because the Noongar (Koorah, Nitja, Boordahwan) (Past, Present, Future) Recognition Bill 2015 is amended (in a non-trivial way), or its enactment is repealed before the Noongar Settlement is effective. Similarly, the SWALSC may terminate it if they consider that the Land Administration (South West Native Title Settlement) Bill 2015, or its enactment, does not allow WA to comply with its obligations to establish the Noongar Land Estate or the licencing of the Noongar Regional Corporations (under clauses 6 or 7 of the Noongar Settlement);
    4. all parties agree to terminate it in writing before the Noongar Settlement is effective or deemed effective;
    5. the Native Title Registrar removes it from the ILUA Register and it remains deregistered for 60 days and providing no legal proceedings against the deregistering have been made. In the case that legal proceedings are made, then the agreement will terminate 40 days after those proceedings have been exhausted.

    Native Title Provisions:

    Extinguishment

    Under this ILUA, the Noongar native title party agrees to the surrender of native title rights and interests to WA. All parties agree that the surrender is intended to extinguish all native title that exists over the ILUA area at the time of the surrender.

    The surrender will take effect 30 days after either the Noongar Settlement is effective or deemed effective. Otherwise, it will take effect immediately before WA and the SWALSC together file executed consent orders for a determination of native title with the federal court.

    Future act provisions

    The full terms of the compensation provided to the Noongar people in exchange for the extinguishment of their native title in the ILUA area are contained in Schedule 10 of the ILUA - see in documents below. They include WA:

    • working with the SWALSC to establish a Noongar Boodja Trust;
    • making twelve annual $50 million payments into the Noongar Future Fund;
    • making twelve annual $10 million payments for the operational funding of six Noongar Regional Corporations and one Central Services Corporation, and $6.5 million over a two year period to establish offices;
    • recognising the Noongar traditional owners through an act of Parliament;
    • transferring Crown Land into a Noongar Land Estate;
    • establishing a Noongar Land Fund to distribute up to $46.850 million over ten years towards effecting the transfer of lands to the Noongar Land Estate, remediation of those lands, the development of Noongar land management capacity, assistance for joint Regional Corporation's and Department of Parks and Wildlife management partnerships, a program to identify and protect heritage sites, as well as other conservation, heritage, and land management activities;
    • allowing for certain customary activities to occur in public drinking water source areas and seeking to abolish access restrictions and proclaimed water reserve areas;
    • transferring and refurbishing 121 properties to the Noongar Boodja Trust for a housing program;
    • contributing $5.3 million and up to two hectares of land in the Perth metropolitan area towards a Noongar Cultural Centre; and
    • working through Noongar Economic Participation and Community Development Frameworks to assist Noongar businesses and improve Government service delivery.

    Related Entries

    Agreement
  • Yued Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Ballardong People Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Wagyl Kaip & Southern Noongar Indigenous Land Use Agreement Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • South West Boojarah #2 Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Whadjuk People Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Organisation
  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council - Signatory
  • State of Western Australia - Signatory
  • Conservation and Land Management Executive Body - Signatory
  • Conservation Commission of Western Australia (now the Conservation and Parks Commission) - Signatory
  • Housing Authority of Western Australia - Signatory
  • Marine Parks and Reserves Authority of Western Australia - Signatory
  • Water Corporation (Western Australia) - Signatory
  • Western Australian Land Authority (LandCorp) - Signatory
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • Native Title (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Regulations 1999 (Cth)
  • Noongar (Koorah, Nitja, Boordahwan) (Past, Present, Future) Recognition Act 2016 (WA)
  • Land Administration Act (South West Native Title Settlement) Act 2016
  • People
  • Franklyn Nannup & others - Signatory
  • Minnie Eden Van Leeuwen - Signatory
  • Minister for Aboriginal Affairs (Western Australia) - Signatory
  • Minister for Environment (Western Australia) - Signatory
  • Minister for Lands (Western Australia) - Signatory
  • Minister for Mines and Petroleum (WA) - Signatory
  • Minister for Water (Western Australia) - Signatory
  • Case Law
  • Bennell v State of Western Australia [2006] FCA 1243
  • Bodney v Bennell [2008] FCAFC 63
  • Northern Land Council v Quall [2019] FCAFC 77.

  • References

    General Reference
    South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (Noongar) Settlement Agreement
    Department of Premier and Cabinet (Noongar) Settlement Agreement
    Department of Premier and Cabinet (4/06/2019) (Noongar) South West Native Title Settlement timeline
    Department of Premier and Cabinet (18/04/2019) Noongar recognition through an Act of Parliament

    Documents

    Document
    National Native Title Tribunal Extract from the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements for WI2015/005 as at 17/6/2020 (Gnaala Karla Booja ILUA) - ( Thumbnail | PDF | PDF)
    Gnaala Karla Booja ILUA - ( Thumbnail)

    Glossary

    Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Native Title (Australia) | National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) (Australia) | Native Title Registers | Party to an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Australia) | Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Australia)

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