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Knox on behalf of the Yuwaalaraay/Euahlayi People v State of Queensland [2021] FCA 1440

Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 22 November 2021
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)

Southwest Queensland, on the New South Wales border

State/Country:Queensland, Australia

The determination area covers 12,945 hectares of land in southwest Queensland.  It includes the townships of Dirranbandi and Hebel, and the Karee and Melanga State Forests. The area's waterways include the Narran River, Bokhara River, Ballandool River, and parts of the Culgua River and Balonne River.

See Schedules 4 and 3, attached, for a detailed description of the determination area and its external boundaries. Schedule 6 provides a map of the area, and Schedule 5 describes areas excluded from the determination area. 

The area is within the jurisdiction of the Balonne Shire Council.

Legal Status:

Registered on the National Native Title Register

Legal Reference: Federal Court File No.: QUD32/2017; National Native Title Tribunal File No.: QCD2021/005
Alternative Names:
  • Yuwaalaraay/Euahlayi People
  • Subject Matter:Native Title
    Summary Information:

    Between: Timothy Knox, William Taylor, Jason Dreise, Jason Wilson, Michael Anderson, Jamie-Lee Taylor and Mayrah Dreise (Applicant) and State of Queensland, Ergon Energy Corporation Limited, Telstra Corporation Limited (Respondents

    Judge: Collier J


    The Federal Court of Australia made this native title determination by consent of the parties under s 87 of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) (the NTA).

    Native title exists in the entire determination area

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

    These rights and interests are exercisable in accordance with the traditional laws and customs of the native title holders and are subject to the laws of the State and Commonwealth.

    Native title holders

    Native title is held by the Yuwaalaraay/Euahlayi People. 

    Exclusive native title exists in the entire determination area other than in relation to water.

    The areas in which exclusive native title rights and interests can be exercised are depicted in blue in Schedule 6. 

    This is the right to possession, occupation, use, and enjoyment of the area to the exclusion of all others

    Non-exclusive native title exists in the determination area in relation to water.  

    These native title rights and interests include the right to:

    • access, be present on, move about on, and travel over the area;
    • camp, and live temporarily in the determination area;
    • hunt, fish, and gather on the land and waters in the area;
    • take Natural Resources in the area;
    • take the water of the area for personal, domestic and non-commercial communal purposes;
    • hold meetings and conduct ceremonies in the area;
    • bury Native Title Holders in the area;
    • maintain places of importance and areas of significance under traditional laws and customs, and protect those places from physical harm;
    • teach on the area the physical and spiritual attributes of the area; and
    • light fires in the area for domestic purposes.

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

    • The holders of a rolling term lease for grazing State forest purposes over Lot 18 on Crown Plan BLM765.
    • Telstra Corporation Limited as the owner and proprietor of telecommunications facilities in the determination area, and concomitant rights to access, install, maintain and remove telecommunication facilities in the vicinity.
    • Ergon Energy Corporation as the owner of works which supply electricity in the area, including rights to inspect, maintain and manage any electricity works in the determination area.
    • Balonne Shire Council's interest in maintaining its jurisdiction and functions within the determination area. It has the right to access, use, operate, maintain and control roads, shared with the State of Queensland. 
    • The State of Queensland, which has rights to access, use, operate, maintain and control roads, in addition to its rights and interests in Reserves, and the concomitant rights and interests of the persons entitled to access and use those reserves or the purpose for which they are reserved. 
    • any other rights and interests held by the State of Queensland or the Commonwealth of Australia or existing under the law of the State of Queensland or the Commonwealth; and
    • any other rights and interests held by the public under the common law. 

    See Schedule 2 for further information about the non-native title rights and interests.

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

    Prescribed body corporate

    The Yuwaalaraay/Euahlayi Aboriginal Corporation performs the functions required under the NTA on behalf of the Yuwaalaraay/Euahlayi People.

    The native title is held in trust.

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

    Detailed Information:


    The Applicant filed the application for this native title on behalf of the Yuwaalaraay/Euahlayi People in January 2017, and reached agreement with the State in June 2021. On 22 November 2021, the Federal Court of Australia made a determination by consent that native title exists over the entire determination area. 

    The determination was celebrated by the Yuwaalaraay/Euahlayi People at a formal ceremony at Dirranbandi. Applicant Jason Dreise said that there is "more work to do," to ensure recognition of traditional lands in New South Wales (Iliffe).

    Details of Judgment

    Collier J was satisfied that the requirements for the Court to give effect to the agreement under s 87 of the NTA were satisfied [25], and that it was appropriate for the court to make the order [31]-[40]. Collier J accepted that the agreement embodies a balance between the interests of the Applicant and the Respondents [70]. Her Honour was satisfied that the parties' s 87 agreement had been entered into on a free and informed basis [69]. 


    Native title exists in the entire determination area. 

    Related Entries

  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • State of Queensland - Respondent
  • Ergon Energy Corporation Limited - Respondent
  • Telstra Corporation Limited - Respondent
  • Balonne Shire Council - Respondent
  • Jece Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Yuwaalaraay/Euahlayi Aboriginal Corporation
  • Federal Court of Australia
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • Land Title Act 1994 (Qld)
  • Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld)
  • Petroleum Act 1923 (Qld)
  • Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (Qld)
  • People
  • Cornelia and Frederik Coetzer as Trustees for Codima Trust - Respondent
  • Yuwaalaraay/Euahlayi People - Native Title Claimant
  • Timothy Knox & others on behalf of the Yuwaalaraay/Euahlayi People - Native Title Applicant

  • References

    News Item
    David Iliffe (23/11/2021) Traditional custodians celebrate long fight for native title in south west Queensland


    National Native Title Register Extract for QCD2021/005 as at 23/01/2023 (Yuwaalaraay/Euahlayi People) - ( 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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