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Bloomfield on behalf of the members of the Akerte, Atwele, Irrerlerre, Ulpmerre and Warrtharre Landholding Groups v Northern Territory of Australia [2017] FCA 335

Category: Agreement
Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 6 April 2017
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)
Place:

MacDonnell Ranges

State/Country:Northern Territory, Australia
The determination area is Eastern Arrernte Country, located in the Mt Riddock locality of the central region of the Northern Territory (as described in Schedule B of the determination and depicted on the map in Attachment A of Schedule C). The area comprises approximately 2,700 square kilometres including: (a) Mt Riddock Pastoral Lease (No. 989) (NT Portions 2453 and 3676), (b) part of the Jervois Stock Route (part of NT Portion 4265), and (c) Reserve 1776 (Stock Route and Travelling Stock purposes) (NT Portion 5136). The determination area includes the local government area of the Central Desert Region.
Legal Status:

Registered on the National Native Title Register.

Legal Reference: Federal Court No: NTD61/2015; National Native Title Tribunal No: DCD 2017/003
Alternative Names:
  • Mt Riddock Pastoral Lease
  • Subject Matter:Access | Mining and Minerals | Native Title | Pastoral Activities | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership
    URL: http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/cth/FCA/2017/335.html?context=1;query=[2017]%20FCA%20335;mask_path=
    Summary Information:

    Bloomfield on behalf of the members of the Akerte, Atwele, Irrerlerre, Ulpmerre and Warrtharre Landholding Groups v Northern Territory of Australia [2017] FCA 335 (Mt Riddock Pastoral Lease)

    Between Kevin Bloomfield, Ken Tilmouth, Dudley Petrick, Patricia Webb, Alec Cavanagh and Julieanne Reiff and others on behalf of the members of the Akerte, Atwele, Irrerlerre, Ulpmerre and Warrtharre Landholding Groups (Applicants) and Northern Territory, Steven Cadzow as trustee of the Steven Cadzow Family Trust and Australian Abrasive Minerals Pty Ltd ACN 118 292 756 (Respondents)

    Judge Griffiths J

    Where made Harts Range Racecourse

    Determination

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

    Native title is held by members of the Akerte, Atwele, Irrerlerre, Ulpmerre and Warrtharre Landholding Groups and persons who do not descend from those Landholding Groups, but are accepted as members of one or more of those Landholding Groups by senior members of that group.

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

    (a) the right to access and travel over any part of the land and waters;

    (b) the right to live on the land, to camp, erect shelters and other structures;

    (c) the right to hunt, gather and fish on the land and waters;

    (d) the right to take and use the natural resources of the land and waters;

    (e) the right to access, take and use natural water on or in the land, except water captured by the holders of Perpetual Pastoral Lease No. 989;

    (f) the right to light fires for domestic purposes (but not for the clearance of vegetation);

    (g) the right to share or exchange natural resources obtained on or from the land and waters, including traditional items made from the natural resources;

    (h) the right to access, maintain and protect sites and places on or in the land and waters that are important under traditional laws and customs;

    (i) the right to conduct and participate in the following activities on the land and waters: cultural activities, ceremonies, meetings, cultural practices relating to birth and death including burial rites, and teaching the physical and spiritual attributes of sites and places on the land and waters that are important under traditional laws and customs;

    (j) the right to make decisions about the use and enjoyment of the land and waters by Aboriginal people who recognise themselves to be governed by the traditional laws and customs acknowledged by the native title holders, provided that the right does not extend to making any decision that purports to control the access of such persons to the determination area; and

    (k) the right to be accompanied on the land and waters by persons who (i) are required by traditional law and custom for the performance of ceremonies or cultural activities on the land and waters, or (ii) have rights in relation to the land and waters according to the traditional laws and customs acknowledged by the native title holders, or (iii) are required by the native title holders to assist in, observe, or record traditional activities on the areas.

    Non-native title rights and interests that exist within the determination area

    (a) the interest of Steven Phillip Cadzow as trustee of the Steven Cadzow Family Trust No 1 of Mt Riddock Station under Perpetual Pastoral Lease No. 989

    (b) the interests of certain holders of mining and petroleum tenements (listed in paragraph 9 (b) of the judgment)

    (c) the rights and interests of Telstra Corporation Ltd (i) as owner/operator of telecommunications facilities within the determination area; and (ii) created pursuant to the Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth) and other relevant Commonwealth legislation; and (iii) for its employees to access the telecommunications facilities; and (iv) under any lease/licence/access agreement or easement relating to the telecommunication facilities.

    (d) the rights of Aboriginal persons pursuant to the reservation in favour of Aboriginal people contained in pastoral leases identified in s 38(2) to (6) of the Pastoral Land Act 1992 (NT)

    (e) the rights of Aboriginal persons under the Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act 1989 (NT)

    (f) rights of access by an employee, servant, agent or instrumentality of the Northern Territory, Commonwealth or other statutory authority to perform his/her statutory duties

    (g) rights and interests granted under law.

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

    The Tywele 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:

    Background

    On 23 September 2015, the applicant filed a native title determination application (the Application). The applicant and the first respondent (the Northern Territory) agreed to resolve the Application on the basis of a 'short-form' approach to the provision of (i) anthropological evidence in support of the Application, and (ii) evidence of the construction/establishment of public works in the determination area [12]. Once provided, this evidence was assessed against criteria agreed by the parties as satisfying the relevant sections of the Native Title Act (1993) (Cth).

    Details of Judgment

    The parties arrived at an agreement as to the terms of a determination of native title less than 18 months after the Application was lodged. Griffiths J noted that this was 'a
    tribute to their good faith and common sense' [4]. The signed agreement was 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.

    Mt Riddock Pastoral Lease was one of three separate sittings of the Federal Court which, combined, conferred native title rights in respect of almost 7,000 square kilometres across the Aileron pastoral lease, the whole of Mt Riddock station and a mining lease at Nolan bore within Mt Riddock station. A key part of these determinations was recognition of native title rights to negotiate exploration and mining activities on the land (ABC Radio 2017; ABC News 2017).

    Outcomes:

    Native title exists in parts of the determination area. The native title rights co-exist with those of the Mt Riddock lease holders (the Cadzow family), who will continue to run the properties as cattle stations. However, members of the Akerte, Atwele, Irrerlerre, Ulpmerre and Warrtharre Landholding Groups have rights to hunt and gather on the land and waters and to conduct cultural activities and ceremonies (Central Land Council, 2017).


    Related Entries

    Agreement
  • Mount Riddock CLA NTP 6326(A) Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Organisation
  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • Northern Territory of Australia - Respondent
  • Central Desert Regional Council
  • Tywele Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC
  • Australian Abrasive Minerals Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth)
  • Pastoral Land Act 1992 (NT)
  • Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act 1989 (NT)
  • People
  • Akerte, Atwele, Irrerlerre, Ulpmerre and Warrtharre landholding groups - Native Title Claimant

  • References

    General Reference
    ABC Radio (7 April 2017) Native Title rights recognised in Central Australia by Federal Court
    Media Release
    Central Land Council (4 April 2017) Native title over Mt Riddock, Aileron and Nolan Bore to be declared
    News Item
    ABC News (4 May 2017) First native title determination for pastoral lease in southern Northern Territory handed down

    Documents

    Document
    National Native Title Tribunal Extract from the Native Title Applications, Registration Decisions and Determinations Register for DCD2017/003 as at 6 April 2017 (Mt Riddock Pastoral Lease). - ( PDF | PDF | PDF | PDF)

    Glossary

    Consent Determination (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Native Title Determination (Australia) | Native Title (Australia) | Native Title Holders (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Native Title Applicants | Respondent | Applicant | National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) (Australia) | Native Title Claimants (registered) (Australia) | Native Title Representative Body (NTRB) (Australia)

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