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Atkins on behalf of the Gingirana People v State of Western Australia [2017] FCA 1465

Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 7 December 2017
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)
Place:Little Sandy Desert
State/Country:Western Australia, Australia
The relevant area is located in the western perimeter of the Little Sandy Desert, south of Newman and northwest of Wiluna in Western Australia. For a detailed description of the area and maps see Schedule 6 of the determination, attached below under documents. The area is within the jurisdiction of the Shire of Meekatharra and the Shire of Wiluna Councils.
Legal Status:

Registered with the National Native Title Tribunal on the Native Title Register 07/12/2017.

Legal Reference: Federal Court file no.: WAD6002/2003; National Native Title Tribunal file no.: WCD2017/011
Alternative Names:
  • Gingirana
  • Atkins on behalf of the Gingirana People v State of Western Australia
  • Subject Matter:Native Title
    Summary Information:

    Between: Miriam Atkins, Grace Ellery, Robert Hill, Stan Hill, Darryl Jones, Timmy Paterson and Slim Williams on behalf of the Gingirana People (Applicant) and State of Western Australia, Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation and Telstra Corporation Limited (Respondents) and Attorney-General of the Commonwealth of Australia (Intervener)

    Judge: Barker J


    Native title exists in the entire of the determination area

    It consists of exclusive and non-exclusive native title rights and interests.

    Native title holders

    The Gingirana People

    Exclusive native title rights and interests over part of the determination area

    The right to possession, occupation, use, and enjoyment of the areas UCL 1, UCL 3 and UCL 4, marked in green and described in Schedule 6, to the exclusion of all others.

    Non-exclusive native title rights and interests over all of the determination area include the right to:

    • access, remain in and use the land; 
    • access, take and use the resources for any purpose; 
    • engage in spiritual and cultural activities;
    • maintain and protect places of significance; and 
    • receive a portion of any traditional resources (not including minerals or petroleum) taken from land or waters by Aboriginal people who are also governed by Western Desert traditional laws and customs

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

    Other rights and interests in the area, as described in Schedule 4, include those created in relation to:

    • Reserves: RES 9700 for the purpose of De Grey - Peak Hill Stock Route, RES 11452 for the purpose of Water - Rabbit Department, RES 12297 for the purpose of Protection of Rabbit Proof Fence No. 1, RES 16733 for the purpose of Common
    • Pastoral Leases: Portion of Three Rivers (N049591), Marymia (N050486), Portion of Bulloo Downs (N049943), Portion of Kumarina (N050094)
    • Easements: Easement 1
    • Roads: Road 5 (4274)
    • Mining interests: Exploration licenses (ES52/1699, ES52/1998, ES52/2071, ES52/2072, ES52/2215, ES52/2356, ES52/2395, ES52/2402, ES52/2405, ES52/2493, ES52/2517, ES52/2734, ES52/2927, ES52/2930, ES52/2943, ES52/2944, ES52/2945, ES52/2973, ES52/3027, ES52/3028, ES52/3029, ES52/3044, ES52/3068, ES52/3069, ES52/3104, ES52/3154, ES52/3171, ES52/3189, ES52/3190, ES52/3265, ES52/3276, ES52/3316, ES52/3317, ES52/3318, ES52/3319/ ES52/3320, ES52/3346, ES52/3397, ES52/3479, E69/3193/ E69/3247, E69/3306, E69/3309, E69/3341, E69/3346, E69/3347, E69/3348, E69/3351, E69/3352, E69/3442, E69/3443); Prospecting licenses (P52/1220, P52/1221, P52/1222, P52/1223, P52/1393, P52/1394, P52/1457, P52/1458, P52/1459, P52/1460, P52/1461, P52/1462, P52/1463, P52/1464, P52/1465); Miscellaneous licenses (L52/40 52/41, L52/48, L52/52, L52/54, L52/55, L52/56, L52/70, L52/71, L52/74, L52/116, L52/117, L52/122, L52/125, L52/133, L52/137, L52/140, L52/152) Mining leases (M52/27, M52/27, M52/148, M52/149, M52/150, M52/170, M52/171, M52/183, M52/217, M52/218, M52/219, M52/220, M52/222, M52/223, M52/226, M52/227, M52/228, M52/229, M52/230, M52/231, M52/232, M52/233, M52/234, M52/235, M52/246, M52/247, M52/253, M52/257, M52/258, M52/259, M52/263, M52/264, M52/269, M52/270, M52/278, M52/279, M52/289, M52/291, M52/292, M52/293, M52/295, M52/296, M52/299, M52/300, M52/301, M52/303, M52/304, M52/305, M52/306, M52/308, M52/309, M52/320, M52/321, M52/323, M52/366, M52/367, M52/369, M52/370, M52/395, M52/396, M52/478, M52/572, M52/590, M52/591, M52/592, M52/593, M52/654,, M52/670, M52/671, M52/672, M52/1046, M52/748, M52/781, M52/782)
    • Petroleum interests: PL 24, PL 35
    • Telstra: rights to inspect land; to install and operate telecommunication facilities; and to alter, remove, replace, maintain, repair and ensure the proper functioning of its telecommunication facilities
    • Other: rights held under valid or validated grants from the Crown in right of the State or of the Commonwealth; rights not otherwise referred to in Schedule 4 held by reason of the force and operation of the laws of the State or of the Commonwealth; right to access the Determination Area by an employee, agent or instrumentality of the State, the Commonwealth of any local government authority; right to existing public access ad enjoyment of waterways, beds and banks or foreshores of waterways, stock routes or areas that were public places at the end of 31 December 1993.
    Other interests which have no force or effect against the native title rights and interests include:

    • Exploration Licence E52/3368

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

    The Marputu Aboriginal Corporation Registered Native Title Body Corporate (RNTBC) is the prescribed body corporate. It performs the functions required under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth). The native title is held in trust for the Gingirana People.

    Full text of the determination is available via the URL link above.

    Detailed Information:


    The Gingirana application was first filed on 9 May 2003. It was amended three times on 10 June 2003, on 10 March 2006 and finally on 23 July 2013.

    The court recognised the Gingirana claimant's ongoing connection with approximately 12,153 square kilometers of land located in the western perimeter of the Little Sandy Desert in Western Australia.

    Senator the Hon. Nigel Scullion (Minister for Indigenous Affairs) and Ms Melissa Price (Member for Durack) issued a joint media release on 7 December 2017 recognising the significance of the Native Title determination for the Gingirana people.

    Details of Judgment

    The parties reached agreement as to the terms of the determination of native title pursuant to s 87 of the Native Title Act.

    Based on the evidence submitted by the applicant, the court was satisfied that they had maintained a connection with the land since sovereignty and would have an ongoing connection with land in the future.

    The court was satisfied that the determination was both within power and appropriate.


    Native title exists in all of the determination area.

    Related Entries

  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • State of Western Australia - Respondent
  • Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation - Respondent
  • Telstra Corporation Limited - Respondent
  • Marputu Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC
  • Central Desert Native Title Services Ltd
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • Native Title (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Regulations 1999 (Cth)
  • Goldfields Gas Pipeline Agreement Act 1994 (WA)
  • Public Works Act 1902 (WA)
  • Mining Act 1978 (WA)
  • Petroleum Pipelines Act 1969 (WA)
  • Post and Telegraph Act 1901 (Cth)
  • Telecommunications Act 1975 (Cth)
  • Australian Telecommunications Corporation Act 1989 (Cth)
  • Telecommunications Act 1991 (Cth)
  • Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth)
  • Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914 (WA)
  • Titles (Validation) and Native Title (Effect of Past Acts) Act 1995 (WA) ('WA Titles Act')
  • People
  • Miriam Atkins and others on behalf of Gingirana people - Native Title Applicant
  • Gingirana People - Native Title Claimant
  • Attorney-General of the Commonwealth of Australia

  • References

    General Reference
    Australian Government (7 December 2017) Minister Scullion: Native Title for Gingirana People


    Native Title (Australia) | National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) (Australia) | Native Title Registers | Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Australia) | Applicant | Respondent | Aboriginal Corporation (Australia) | Native Title Applicants | Native Title Holders (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Native Title Representative Body (NTRB) (Australia) | Consent Determination (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Native Title Determination (Australia) | Native Title Applications/Claims (Australia)

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