printable versionPrint this page

Morrison v Northern Territory of Australia [2014] FCA 155

Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 16 March 2014
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)
Place:Brunchilly, Tablelands
State/Country:Northern Territory, Australia
Within the Barkly Shire local government.
Legal Status: Registered on the National Native Title Register of native title determinations.
Legal Reference: Tribunal file no. DCD2014/004 Federal Court file no(s) NTD36/2011
Subject Matter:Access | Land Use | Native Title
Summary Information:
Morrison v Northern Territory of Australia [2014] FCA 155

Harry Morrison on behalf of the Kurtinia Group, the Kunakiji/Lukkurnu Group, the Kunapa Group, the Jalajirrpa Group and the Pirrtangu Group (APPLICANTS)
Norther Territory of Australia (FIRST RESPONDENTS)

Judge: Rangiah J
Where made: Tingkkarli/Lake Mary Ann


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

Native title is held by the Kurtinja estate group; the Kunakiji/Lukkurnu estate group; the Kunapa estate group; and the Jalajirrpa estate group.

The non-exclusive native title rights over part of the determination area consist of:
- the right to travel over and to have access to those areas;
- the right to hunt, fish, gather and use the natural resources of those areas;
- the right to take and use the natural water on those areas, excluding the right to take or use water captured by the holders of a pastoral lease;
- the right to live, camp and erect shelters and structures on those areas;
- the right to light fires on those areas for domestic purposes, but not for the clearance of vegetation;
- the right to conduct and participate in cultural activities and practices on those areas; and
- the right to maintain and protect sites and places on those areas that are of significance under their traditional laws and customs.

Non native title rights and interests that exist in the determination area include:
- the rights and interests relating to pastoral leases and easements;
- the rights and interests of Telstra Corporation Ltd as the operator of telecommunications facilities within the Determination Area;
- the rights of Aboriginal persons (whether or not native title holders) by virtue of the Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act 1989 (NT);
- the rights of access by an employee, servant, agent or instrumentality of the Northern Territory or Commonwealth, or other statutory authority as required in the performance of statutory duties;
- the interests of persons to whom valid and validated rights and interests have been granted by the Crown pursuant to statute or otherwise in the exercise of executive power;
- the rights and interests granted under the Mineral Titles Act (NT) and the Petroleum Act (NT); and
- the rights and interests conferred by an exploration permit.

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

Northern Territory Aboriginal Corporation, 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. The native title is not held on trust for the native title holders.
Detailed Information:

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 Kurtinja estate group; the Kunakiji/Lukkurnu estate group; the Kunapa estate group; and the Jalajirrpa estate group in relation to part of the land and waters coverd by the Brunchilly Pastoral Lease 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

  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • Northern Territory of Australia
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • Petroleum Act 1981 (NT)

  • Documents

    Brunchilly Pastoral Lease - ( PDF | PDF | PDF)


    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Australia) | Applicant | Federal Government | Legislation | National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) (Australia) | Native Title (Australia) | Respondent | State Government

    Top of page

    Was this useful? Click here to fill in the ATNS survey