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Sturt on behalf of the Jaru Native Title Claim v State of Western Australia [2018] FCA 1923

Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 8 June 2021
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)

East Kimberley Region

State/Country:Western Australia , Australia

The determination area covers approximately 28,915 sq kms of land and waters generally south of Halls Creek, and another area located northeast of Halls Creek. For a detailed description of the area and maps see Schedules 1 and 2 of the determination, attached below under documents. The area is within the jurisdiction of the Halls Creek Shire Council.

Legal Status:

Registered on the National Native Title Register

Legal Reference: Federal Court file no.: WAD45/2012; National Native Title Tribunal file no.: WCD2018/013
Alternative Names:
  • Jaru
  • Subject Matter:Native Title
    Summary Information:

    Between: Barbara Sturt and others named in the schedule of parties (Applicant) and State of Western Australia (Respondents)

    Judge: Mortimer J


    Native title exists in parts of the determination area 

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

    Native title holders

    Native title is held by the Jaru People.

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

    The areas where exclusive native title exists are described in Schedule 3 and are generally shown as green on the maps in Schedule 2.

    This is the right to possession, occupation, use, and enjoyment of the area, described in the Extract, as against the whole world.

    Non-exclusive native title rights and interests exist over part of the determination area 

    These rights and interests exist over the area described in Schedule 4 (attached below) and include the right to:

    • access and remain in the areas, including erecting temporary structures and lighting controlled contained fires that are not for clearing vegetation;
    • access and take resources for any purpose, but not water controlled by other landholders;
    • protect places, areas, and sites of traditional significance; and
    • be accompanied onto the area by any person who is not a native title holder, but who is invited according to traditional law and custom.

    Other (non-native title) rights and interests in the determination area

    The areas where non-exclusive native title exists are described in Schedule 4. These other rights and interests are held under:

    • Pastoral Leases (Nicholson, Ruby Plains, Sturt Reek, Flora Valley, Gordon Downs, Sophie Downs, Elvire, Koongie Park, Lamboo) and part of Pastoral Leases (Larrawa, Yougawalla, Margaret River, and Burks Park);
    • two general leases for the purpose of use and benefit of Aboriginal Inhabitants;
    • ten Reserves; and
    • the Mining Act 1978 (WA);

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

    See the Extract for further information about the non-native title rights and interests.

    The Jaru 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) and holds the native title in trust for the Jaru people.

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

    Detailed Information:

    Details of Judgment

    The land tenure of the application is largely made up of large reserves, pastoral leases, and unallocated Crown land.

    The Court Notes include the statement that the third pastoralist respondents negotiated agreements that, following this determination taking effect, are to be executed and applied for registration as Indigenous land use agreements (ILUAs). 

    The Jaru people are comprised of members from numerous clan groups. Members of the group were drawn from the Bilinyana Jaru, Yudu, Warl Jaruand Nynin Jaru people [10].

    Most Jaru people continued to live in, or close to, the determination area, and have through working on pastoral stations, have maintained a close connection with their country [78]. Justice Mortimer accepted that the evidence showed the Jaru have an obligation to protect all sites of spiritual significcance [73].

    Through negotiation, the parties reached an agreement in regard to native title in the determination area. The parties' agreement was coherent with s 87 of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and Mortimer J was satisfied that a legitimate agreement had been reached and was able to make the determination.


    Native title exists in part of the determination area.

    Related Entries

  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • Jaru Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC
  • State of Western Australia - Respondent
  • Shire of Halls Creek - Respondent
  • Telstra Corporation Limited
  • Heytesbury Pastoral Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • S. Kidman and Co Ltd - Respondent
  • Sophie Downs Station Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Nicholson Grazing Company Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Vicdon Holdings - Respondent
  • Yeeda Station Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Yougawalla Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • Native Title (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Regulations 1999 (Cth)
  • Mining Act 1978 (WA)
  • People
  • Jaru People - Native Title Claimant
  • Barbara Sturt and others - Native Title Applicant
  • Kevin Stephen Brockhurst - Respondent

  • Documents

    Extract from the National Native Title Registrar for WCD2018/013 as at 06/10/2022 (Jaru people) - ( PDF | PDF | PDF | PDF | PDF | PDF | PDF | PDF)


    Native Title (Australia) | National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) (Australia) | Native Title Registers | Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Australia) | Applicant | Respondent | Consent Determination (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Aboriginal Corporation (Australia) | Native Title Applicants | Native Title Holders (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Registered Native Title Body Corporate (RNTBC) (Native Title Act) (Australia)

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