Background to the Agreement
According to Windlab Pty Ltd, the Prairie Wind Farm it proposes for development in the ILUA area is expected to generate up to 800MW of power from about 100 turbines (Windlab) This renewable energy project has the capacity to provide clean energy to meet the needs of one in six Queensland homes (Windlab). The Prairie Wind Farm will connect to the proposed CopperString 2.0 transmission line, which will connect the Townsville electricity grid to Mount Isa and surrounding localities (Windlab).
The Prairie Wind Farm will be the first project developed by Windlab Pty Ltd and its strategic partner, Fortescue Future Industries, as part of Stage 1 of the North Queensland Super Hub (Windlab, December 2022). The North Queensland Super Hub is a renewable energy facility that could generate more than 10 GW of wind and solar energy and underpin industrial-scale production of green hydrogen.
As of November 2022, Windlab has not started construction but is recording the wind profile in the area (Windlab, December 2002).
Commencement and Termination
The agreement commenced on the day the agreement was executed by all the parties (9 July 2011). It operates as an ILUA and in relation to its future act provisions from the date it was entered into the National Native Title Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements (7 February 2012).
Subject to Clause 15 (which provides for termination of the ILUA in certain circumstances but not included in the Extract), the ILUA will operate for the life of the project and the duration of the agreed acts.
Native Title Provisions
The Right to negotiate
In relation to the future acts in the ILUA area, the parties agree that the right to negotiate provisions of the NTA under Subdivision P, Division 3, Part 2 of the Act do not apply.
The parties agree that the non-extinguishment principle applies. This means that under s 24EB(3) of the NTA, any of the activities authorised under this ILUA which may be inconsistent with native title rights and interests do not extinguish these rights and interests. Instead, they are revived when the activities are finished.
Future act provisions
The parties agree to:
- the undertaking of the renewable energy project. This means the installation of equipment for the purpose of renewable energy generation including the construction and operation of wind turbine generators, access tracks, electrical cabling, substations, a maintenance facility, a transmission line to connect to the electricity grid at Hughenden, any other works necessary or related to connecting the project, any other suitable commercial-scale solar generation and/or biomass generation plant; and
- the grant, variation, extension, or renewal of any approval that Windlab reasonably considers necessary or desirable to undertake the renewable energy project on any part of the ILUA Area.
Native Title in the ILUA Area
At the time this ILUA was made the ILUA area was subject to the undetermined Yirendali People Core Country Claim.
However, a settlement agreement was formed and registered on the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements on 2 December 2016 (see the Yirendali People Claim Resolution Indigenous Land Use Agreement). Further to the settlement, a negative native title determination was handed down, with the consent of the parties, in Hill on behalf of the Yirendali People v State of Queensland  FCA 273 (Yirendali People Core Country Claim).
Native title does not exist as of 20 March 2017.