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King v Northern Territory of Australia [2007] FCA 1498

Category: Case Law
Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 26 September 2007
Sub Category:Litigated Determination
Place:Newcastle Waters
State/Country:Northern Territory, Australia
Various sites in and around Newcastle Waters
Legal Status: Registered on the National Native Title Register.
Legal Reference: Federal Court File Numbers NTD6024/2000, NTD6008/2001, NTD6013/2002, NTD6017/2002, NTD6033/2000, NTD3/2004; National Native Title Tribunal No DC00/22; DC01/8; DC02/12; DC02/16; DC02/32
Alternative Names:
  • Newcastle Waters- Marranji Determination
  • Subject Matter:Land Use | Native Title | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests
    Summary Information:
    King v Northern Territory of Australia [2007] FCA 1498

    George King (Murranji) (APPLICANT) and
    Northern Territory of Australia, Branir Pty Ltd and Laverton Nominees Pty Ltd (RESPONDENTS)

    Philip Ulamari and Pompey Raymond (APPLICANT)and
    Northern Territory of Australia, Consolidated Press Holdings Ltd, Branir Pty Ltd, Yarabala Pty Ltd, A.P.N. Pty Ltd, James William Beebe, Edward Hart, Elizabeth Hart, Robert Harvey, Beverley Stockwell, Thomas Stockwell (RESPONDENTS)

    Raymond Dixon and Jeffrey Dixon (on behalf of the Warninki-Kajalangujku and
    Kurrawkurrawka/Kilikilika/Wajilan Groups) (APPLICANTS) and Branir Pty Ltd (RESPONDENT)

    Raymond Dixon, Jeffrey Dixon and Jimmy Wavehill (on behalf of the Turrutpa-Jalapirri, Pinkakujarra, murranjayi and Liyartu-Walamarnta Groups)(APPLICANTS) and
    Branir Pty Ltd and D J James and J M James (RESPONDENTS)

    Eric Kingston Jangala, William Kingston Jangala, Johnny Benson and Janet Sandy (on behalf of the Wilyuku, Ijiparta, Ngirtinku, Kularja, Marlinja/Kidpawurru, Walamarnta Groups) (APPLICANTS) and
    Nothern Territory of Australia, Consolidated Press Holdings Ltd, Telstra Corporation Ltd, A.P.N Pty Ltd, NT Gas Pty Ltd and Elliot District Community Government Council (RESPONDENTS)

    Regina Collins, Harold Dalywater, Rex Collins, Susan Raymond and Renata Collins (on behalf of the Jarrimanu Group) (APPLICANTS) and
    Northern Territory of Australia, Elliott District Community Government Council, Telstra Corporation Ltd (RESPONDENTS)

    Judge: Moore J

    Where made: Sydney (via videolink to Darwin)


    Native title exists in parts of the determination area

    The determination area consists of various sites located in and around the town of Newcastle Waters.

    The above listed claimants represent members of nine 'estate groups', members of six
    'neighbouring estate groups' and spouses of members of those estate groups.

    Native title rights and interests in the determination area are held by the following 'estate groups':
    - the Marlinja (Collins) group;
    - the Ijiparta (Kingston) group;
    - the Elliott (Gurungu/Kulumintini) group;
    - the Warranangku (Beetaloo) group;
    - the Kulaja (North Waterhole) group;
    - the Powell Creek (Walanpiri) group;
    - the Ngapurr (Nellis Waterhole) group;
    - the North Western group;
    - the Murranji (Narlwan/Nyirrinji) group.

    Pursuant to traditional laws and customs, 'neighbouring estate groups' also have rights and interests in determination area. These groups are listed at clause 6 in Annexure 1 of the judgment. The rights of these groups are subject to the rights and interests of the estate group members.

    Exclusive native title rights exist in relation to the areas within the boundaries of the Town of Newcastle Waters. They include rights of possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of those areas, to the exclusion of all others.

    Non-exclusive native title rights and interests apply to Northern Territory Portions 851, 908, 2093, 4232, 4273, 4274 and 5147 (described in Schedule A of the judgment). This includes land comprising parts of the Murranji Stock Route, the Birdum Stock Route and the North-South Stock Route as well as land subject to numerous perpetual pastoral leases.

    Non-exclusive native title rights and interests include:
    - the right to travel over and move about in the prescribed areas
    - the right to access to the prescribed areas
    - the right to hunt and fish in the prescribed areas
    - the right to gather and to use the natural resources of the prescribed area
    - the right to take and to use the natural water on the prescribed areas
    - the right to live, to camp and erect shelters and on the prescribed areas
    - the right to light fires on the prescribed areas for domestic purposes
    - the right to participate in cultural activities and practices, including burial rites
    - the right to conduct ceremonies and meetings on the land
    - the right to teach the physical and spiritual attributes of sites within the prescribed areas
    - the right to maintain and to protect sites and places of significance
    - the right to share or exchange traditional resources obtained from the prescribed areas

    These native title rights are not to be held on trust. A prescribed body corporate must be nominated to perform functions under s 53 of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

    Other interests in the determination area, which prevail over native title interests, include:
    - numerous pastoral leases
    - rights of use for pasture and passage of stock
    - numerous freehold and leasehold states
    - overhead and underground cabling
    - various interests of Telstra Corporation Limited
    - various interests of NT Gas Pty Ltd
    - interests of Aboriginal persons pursuant to reservations contained in pastoral leases
    - rights of Aboriginal persons pursuant to the Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act 1989 (Cth)
    - rights of access by employees of the Territory or Commonwealth

    Schedule D in Annexure 1 to the judgment outlines areas where native title rights have been wholly extinguished.

    No native title rights and interests exist in minerals, petroleum and prescribed substances under the Energy (Control of Material) Act 1946 (Cth) or the Atomic Energy Act 1953 (Cth).
    Detailed Information:
    This case was preceded by King v Northern Territory of Australia [2007] FCA 944 in which Moore J ordered parties to submit a draft determination. The parties submitted a final draft determination and the present case concerns the resolution of some issues arising from that draft.

    King v Northern Territory of Australia [2007] FCA 944 primarily concerned the following questions:

    - Whether the claimant groups had a right to erect permanent structures and remain permanently on land the subject of a pastoral lease. The court held that the claimants were not necessarily entitled to permanently settle on such land. Even if permanent settlement were possible, it could not be done so in a manner which interfered with the rights of the pastoral leaseholder. Thus, they may also be prevented from erecting certain permanent structures on the land.

    - Whether land reserved as a garbage reserve was inconsistent with native title rights and interests. Moore J held that native title rights had been extinguished in that land.

    - Whether gas pipelines operated by NT Gas Pty Ltd extinguished native title rights and interests. Moore J did not consider the main pipeline to be a public work and therefore refused to characterize its operation an act extinguishing native title.

    Related Entries

  • Lily Hole Creek Community Living Area Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Organisation
  • Northern Territory of Australia - Respondent
  • Commonwealth of Australia
  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • Federal Court of Australia
  • Branir Pty Ltd
  • Laverton Nominees Pty Ltd
  • Telstra Corporation Limited
  • Yarabala Pty Ltd
  • NT Gas Pty Ltd
  • A.P.N. Pty Ltd
  • Consolidated Press Holdings Ltd
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • People
  • George King (Murranji)
  • Philip Ulamari
  • Pompey Raymond
  • Beebe, James William
  • Hart, Edward
  • Hart, Elizabeth
  • Harvey, Robert
  • Stockwell, Beverley
  • Stockwell, Thomas
  • James, David and James, Jennifer
  • Jarrimanu Group
  • Wilyuku Group
  • Ijiparta Group
  • Ngirtinku Group
  • Kularja Group
  • Marlinja/Kidpawurru
  • Kurrawkurrawka/Kilikilika/Wajilan Group
  • Warninki-Kajalangujku Group
  • Liyartu-Walamarnta Group
  • Murranjayi Group
  • Pinkakujarra Group
  • Turrutpa-Jalapirri Group
  • Walamarnta Group

  • Glossary

    Litigated Determination (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Extinguishment (Australia) | Native Title (Australia) | Lease

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