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Doctor on behalf of the Bigambul People v State of Queensland [2017] FCA 716

Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 23 June 2017
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)

Parts of Boondandilla State Forest and Marmadua

State/Country:Queensland, Australia
The determination area covers all lands and waters commencing at the intersection of the New South Wales and Queensland border and the southern boundary of the Macintyre Brook watershed. It extends generally westerly along the State border. It consists of 92,853 hectares located within the Kumbarilla, Waar Waar and Boondandilla State Forests. For a detailed description of the area and maps see Schedule 1 of the determination, attached below under documents. The area is within the jurisdiction of the Goondiwindi, Toowoomba, and Western Downs Regional Councils.
Legal Status:

Registered with the National Native Title Tribunal on the Native Title Register.

Legal Reference: Federal Court file no.: QUD101/2009; National Native Title Tribunal file no.: QCD2017/003
Alternative Names:
  • Bigambul People Part B
  • Subject Matter:Native Title
    Summary Information:

    Between: Russell Doctor, Elaine Georgetown, Cyril Logan and Rhonda Sandow on behalf of the Bigambul People (Applicant) and the State of Queensland, Goondiwindi Regional Council, Toowoomba Regional Council, Western Downs Regional Council and others (Respondents)

    Judge: Reeves J


    Native title exists in the entire determination area

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

    Native title holders

    Native title is held by the Bigambul People.

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

    These rights and interests exist over the area described in Schedule 1 and include the right to:

    • access the determination area;
    • camp and live temporarily on the area;
    • hunt, fish and gather on the land and waters of the area for personal, domestic and non-commercial purposes;
    • take and use the water of the area for personal, domestic and non-commercial purposes;
    • conduct ceremonies on the area;
    • be buried and bury native title holders within the area;
    • maintain places of importance and areas of significance to the native title holders under their traditional laws and customs; and
    • light fires on the area for domestic purposes.

    Other rights and interests in the determination area include:

    • the agreement between the applicants and the Balonne Shire Council, Western Downs Regional Council, Goondiwindi Regional Council and Toowoomba Regional Council those of the parties to the agreement which was authorised by the native title claim group on 9 September 2016 (Bigambul People and Local Government Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA));
    • those of the parties to the agreement that was authorised by the native title claim group on 9 September 2016 (the Bigambul People and Ergon Energy Corporation ILUA);
    • Australia Pacific LNG Pty Limited;
    • the rights and interests of the State of Queensland, Goondiwindi Regional Council, Toowoomba regional Council and Western Downs Regional Council to access, use, operate, maintain and control the dedicated roads in the determination area;
    • the rights and interests of Telstra Corporation Limited;
    • the rights and interests of Ergon Energy Corporation Limited;
    • the rights and interests of Australia Pacific LNG Pty Limited pursuant to the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (Qld);
    • the rights and interests of Origin Energy Resources Limited and Australia Pacific LNG Pty Limited;
    • any existing public access to and enjoyment of areas in the determination area pursuant to s 212(2) of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) (NTA); and
    • any other rights and interests held by the State of Queensland or the Commonwealth of Australia.

    See Schedule 4 for further information about the non-native title rights and interests. 

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

    The Bigambul Native Title Aboriginal Corporation 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 Bigambul people.

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

    Detailed Information:


    On 18 October 2016, the Court split the Bigambul application into Parts A and B. Bigambul Part A comprised all of the claim area except for six parcels of land [1].

    Part A was decided on 1 December 2016 in Doctor on behalf of the Bigambul People v State of Queensland [2016] FCA 1447. The remaining six parcels of land are the subject of this Bigambul Part B determination which were held over for determination until the Court had resolved Doyle on behalf of the Iman People #2 v State of Queensland [2016] FCA 13 (Iman). In that case, the Court considered relevant points of law in relation to whether grants of grazing pastoral leases amount to exclusive possession acts under s 23B of the NTA [1]. As a consequence of the outcome of Iman, the parties in Bigambul Part B agreed that native title had been extinguished over all the six parcels apart from 92,853 hectares located within the Kumbarilla, Waar Waar and Boondandilla State Forests [4].

    Details of Judgment

    Justice Reeves recognised that the Bigambul People hold native title in the determination area [18].


    Native title exists in the entire determination area.

    Related Entries

  • Bigambul People and Local Governments Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Bigambul People and Ergon Energy Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Doyle on behalf of the Iman People #2 v State of Queensland [2016] FCA 743.
  • Organisation
  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • State of Queensland - Respondent
  • Goondiwindi Regional Council - Respondent
  • Toowoomba Regional Council - Respondent
  • Western Downs Regional Council - Respondent
  • Ergon Energy Corporation Limited - Respondent
  • Telstra Corporation Limited - Respondent
  • Australia Pacific LNG Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Origin Energy Resources Limited - Respondent
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • Native Title (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Regulations 1999 (Cth)
  • Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 (Qld)
  • People
  • Russell Doctor & others on their own behalf and on behalf of the Bigambul People - Native Title Applicant
  • Scott Thomas Barkla & others - Respondent
  • Bigambul People - Native Title Claimant

  • Documents

    Extract from the National Native Title Register for QCD2017/003 as at 19/08/2022 (Bigambul people Part B). - ( 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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