Crescent Head Agreement

Date: 9 October 1996
Sub Category:Section 21 Agreement (Native Title Act)
Place:Crescent Head
State/Country:New South Wales, Australia
Subject Matter:Native Title | Compensation | Land Settlement
Summary Information:
On Wednesday 9 October 1996, an agreement was signed by native title claimant Mary-Lou Buck, New South Wales Minister for Land and Water Conservation Kim Yeadon, and Manuel Ritchie, Treasurer of the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council, in relation to a native title application over 12.4 hectares of land in Crescent Head on the north coast of New South Wales. The agreement effectively settled the claim, providing for a residential subdivision of the land to be completed, with the Dunghutti people to be compensated for the loss of their native title rights to the land.
Detailed Information:
This agreement led to the first successful resolution of a native title application by the Dunghutti people of Crescent Head. The initial claim under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) was made by Ms Mary-Lou Buck of the Dunghutti community. A claim was lodged on 10 October 1994 by the Native Title Party seeking a determination of native title in respect to over 12.4 hectares of former crown land. Ms Buck proved that her forbear James Davis was living in the area of Crescent Head at the time of white settlement. The Dunghutti people remained in the area. Prior to January 1994 the State carried out certain development works in respect to the subject land; consisting of subdivision of the said land into residential blocks and the construction of roads with the subdivision and the provision of services to those lots. The agreement effectively settled the claim, providing for the residential subdivision of the land to be completed, with the Dunghutti people to be compensated for the loss of their native title rights to the land. This agreement resulted from good faith negotiations between the State and the native title claimant as represented by the New South Wales Land Council. The National Native Title Tribunal acted as arbitral body in negotiations.
The parties agree and acknowledge a. That the Dunghutti people were the traditional owners of the land as at 1788 and that since then and up until the present they have maintained a continuing connection with that land in accordance with their customs and laws; b. That as a consequence of a past act, namely the alienation by sale of the said land, native title on those lots, not otherwise extinguished by reason of the past act referred to in the Native Title Act. c. That native title means the communal rights and interests of the Dunghutti people in relation to Block A and Block B (on said land), conferring on the Dunghutti people possession, occupation and enjoyment of the land to the exclusion of all people such that the Dunghutti may exercise whatever rights and interests are recognised by their traditional laws and customs d. The native title claimant agrees to the doing of the proposed future act e. The native title claimant will arrange for the incorporation of a body corporate in accordance with and for the purposes of the regulations made to sections 58 and 59 of the Native Title Act, to hold on trust for the Dunghutti people the monies to be paid pursuant to the terms of the deed. f. The native title claimant agrees that once the amounts agreed to are paid by the State all native title rights and interests in the land shall as and from the specified time pass to the State g. The State agrees to payment of compensation for the extinguishment of native title in respect of Block A (already developed) h. The State agrees to pay the body corporate within 28 days of the execution of the Deed the sum of $256,000 in compensation for the extinguishment of native title in respect to Block A i. Block B (to be developed): native title claimants will receive a percentage of the gross sale price for each lot in the subdivision. A range of future guarantees are made for the native title claimants to ensure that they receive compensation for the subdivision even in the event that the lots do not sell within 10years. The parties agree and acknowledge that the agreements and acknowledgements contained in the Deed are the result of their agreement to resolve the matters in dispute between them in respect of the land the subject of the native title determination application and the application for a permissible future act. A copy of this agreement has been given to the NNTT and the parties agree to act in good faith and to use their best endeavours to implement the terms of this Deed, and, in particular, without undue delay to perform the obligations imposed upon them including: 1. Compliance with the procedural requirements of the Act 2. The incorporation of the body corporate 3. The payment of monies

Related Entries

  • Mary-Lou Buck on behalf of the Dunghutti People vState Of New South Wales & Ors [1997] FCA 1624
  • Organisation
  • New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council - Aboriginal Representative Party
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • People
  • Dunghutti People

  • References

    Electronic Journal
    Blackshield, Simon (1997) Crescent Head Native Title Agreement
    Media Release
    National Native Title Tribunal (1996) Media Release PR96/41 - 9 October 1996 Native title first at Crescent Head
    Buck, Mary Lou, Representative Dungarri Clan (1997) Human Rights and Indigenous Australians: Land and Sea
    (1997) The Crescent Head Agreement


    Section 21 Agreement (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia)