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Doctor on behalf of the Bigambul People v State of Queensland [2016] FCA 1447

Category: Agreement
Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 5 June 2017
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)
Place:

South Western Downs

State/Country:Queensland, Australia
The 2600 square kilometre native title determination area covers land and waters between the towns of Moonie, Goondiwindi, Talwood, Yelarbon, Toobeah, and Texas. The area covers Balonne Shire Council, Goondiwindi Regional Council, Toowoomba Regional Council, and Western Downs Regional Council in South Queensland. See Schedule 1, below under Documents, for a map of the determination area.
Legal Status:

Registered on the National Native Title Tribunal Register.

Legal Reference: NNTT file no.: QCD2106/012
Alternative Names:
  • Bigambul People Part A
  • Subject Matter:Native Title
    URL: http://www8.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/cth/FCA/2016/1447.html
    Summary Information:

    Doctor on behalf of the Bigambul People v State of Queensland [2016] FCA 1447.

    Between: Russell Doctor, Elaine Georgetown, Cyril Logan, and Rhonda Sandow on Behalf of the Bigambul People (Applicants) and the State of Queensland, and others as named in Schedule 1 of the determination.

    Judge: Reeves J.

    Determination:

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

    Native title is held by the Bigambul People. 

    Exclusive native title rights and interests exist over the area described in Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the determination.

    Other than in relation to water, these are the right to possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of the area to the exclusion of all others.

    In relation to water:

    • the non-exclusive rights to hunt, fish and gather from the water within the area
    • to take and use the natural resources of the water in the area
    • to take and use the water of the area for domestic and non-commercial communal purposes.

    Non-exclusive native title rights and interests exist over the area described in Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the determination.

    These are the rights to:

    • access, be present and move about on and travel over the sea;
    • camp and live temporarily on the area;
    • hunt, fish, and gather on the area;
    • take, use, share and exchange natural resources; 
    • take and use water;
    • conduct ceremonies;
    • be buried and bury native title holders;
    • teach on the area;
    • maintain places of importance and significance to the Bigambul People and protect those areas from physical harm;
    • light fires on the area for domestic purposes, but not for hunting or clearing vegetation; and
    • be accompanied onto the area by certain non-Bigambul people required for ceremonial or cultural purposes.

    These non-exclusive native title rights do not confer possession, occupation, use or enjoyment of the determination area to the exclusion of all others.

    These non exclusive rights do not create any rights in relation to:

    • minerals as defined by the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld);
    • petroleum as defined by the Petroleum Act 1923 (Qld); and
    • the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (Qld).

    Non-native title rights and interests that exist in the determination area include:

    • any rights created under the Bigambul People Revenue Share ILUA, the Bigambul People and Local Government ILUA, the Bigambul People and Ergon Energy ILUA, and the Bigambul Protected Areas Indigenous Land Use Agreement;
    • the rights of the State of Queensland and any local government to use, maintain, operate, and control any dedicated roads in the determination area and the rights of the public to use those roads;
    • all rights the of the local governments in their respective parts of the determination area;
    • the rights of the State of Queensland in reserves, and the rights and interests of the trustees of those reserves to access and use those reserves for their reserved purpose.
    • the rights and interests of persons and organisations that exist under the laws of the State and Commonwealth, including the Telstra Corporation Limited, Ergon Energy Corporation Limited, the Trust Company Limited (ACN004027749), Australia Pacific LNG Pty Ltd, Origin Energy Resources Limited, Moonie Pipeline Company Pty Ltd, Santos Limited, and others as set out in Schedule 4 of the determnation;
    • the rights and interests of the public under common law, including the right to fish, and under s 212(2) of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and s 18 of the Native Title Act (Queensland) 1993 (Qld) any public access to waterways, stockways, and areas that were public places at the end of 31 December 1993; and
    • any other rights and interests held by the State of Queensland or the Commonwealth.

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

    The Bigambul Native Title Aboriginal Corporation as the prescribed body corporate, is to perform the functions required under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and holds the Bigambul Peoples' native title in trust.

    Access the full text of the determination via the URL link above.

    Detailed Information:

    Background:

    The Bigambul application for a determination of native title was filed on 14 April 2009. The application was for a determination that native title exists over certain land and waters in the South Western Downs region of Queensland, an area covering approximately 20,000 square kilometres (Bigambul Native Title Aboriginal Corporation, 2020).

    On 18 October 2016, the Court made orders splitting the Bigambul application into Parts A and B. Part A comprises the majority of the claim area.

    This Bigambul application was filed seven and a half years before the agreement was made, however, the Bigambul People's first application over this area was made more than eighteen years prior. The positive outcome of the Bigambul Part A application, on 1 December 2016, brought recognition of the Bigambul People's native title over approximately 2,600 square kilometres of land and waters. 

    Bigambul Traditional Owner Cheryl Moggs stated on the day of the decision that '[n]ow the dance starts once again on country to celebrate, as we take our place, shed a tear, heal, and once again walk together' (Lynham, 2016).

    Details of Judgment:

    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 Bigambul People in relation to all land and waters of the determination area. 

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

    Outcomes:

    Native title exists in the entire determination area.


    Related Entries

    Agreement
  • Bigambul People and Ergon Energy Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Bigambul Protected Areas Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Bigambul People Revenue Sharing Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Bigambul People and Local Governments Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Organisation
  • Bigambul Native Title Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC
  • State of Queensland - Respondent
  • Goondiwindi Regional Council - Respondent
  • Toowoomba Regional Council - Respondent
  • Western Downs Regional Council - Respondent
  • Ergon Energy Corporation Limited - Respondent
  • Telstra Corporation Limited - Respondent
  • Delhi Petroleum Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Bridgefield Pty Limited - Respondent
  • Australia Pacific LNG Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Anvil Australian Petroleum Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Santos Ltd - Respondent
  • Origin Energy Resources Limited - Respondent
  • Vamgas Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Legislation
  • Native Title (Queensland) Act 1993 (Qld)
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • People
  • Bigambul People - Native Title Applicant

  • References

    General Reference
    Bigambul Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (2020) Native Title
    Media Release
    Anthony Lynham (1 December 2016) Native Title decision starts the dance again for Bigambul People

    Documents

    Document
    National Native Title Tribunal Extract from the Native Title Applications, Registration Decisions and Determinations Register for [QCD2016/012] as at 5/06/2017 (Bigambul People Part A) - ( PDF | PDF | PDF | PDF)

    Glossary

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Australia) | Aboriginal Corporation (Australia) | Aboriginal Corporation (Australia) | Act (Australia) | Applicant | State Government | Right To Negotiate (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Registered Native Title Body Corporate (RNTBC) (Native Title Act) (Australia) | Native Title Representative Body (NTRB) (Australia) | Native Title Claimants (registered) (Australia) | Native Title Determination (Australia) | Native Title Registers | Native Title Applicants | Native Title (Australia)

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