Elizabeth Dodd & Ors on behalf of the Gudjala People Core Country Claim #2 v State of Queensland & Ors  FCA 231
|Federal Court of Australia
|18 March 2014
|Consent Determination (Native Title Act)
|Registered on the National Native Title Register of native title determinations.
|Tribunal file no. QCD2014/007
Federal Court file no(s) QUD147/2006
|Dodd on behalf of the Gudjala People Core Country Claim #2 v State of Queensland & Ors  FCA 231
Elizabeth Dodd, Andrew (Smokey) Anderson, Christine Hero, Priscilla Michelle Huen And Gloria Santo On Behalf Of The Gudjala People Core Country Claim #2 (APPLICANTS)
State Of Queensland (FIRST RESPONDENT)
Charters Towers Regional Council (SECOND RESPONDENT)
Flinders Shire Council (THIRD RESPONDENT)
Ergon Energy Corporation Limited (FOURTH RESPONDENT)
Citigold Corporation Limited (FIFTH RESPONDENT)
Great Mines Pty Ltd (SIXTH RESPONDENT)
Allingham Holdings Pty Ltd, Kenneth Ernest Dudley Anning, Richard Dudley Anning, Atkinson Developments Pty Ltd, Camm Enterprises (Aust) Pty Ltd, Lydia Jane Dennis, Elizabeth Anne Lyons, Gerard Frances Lyons, Lynette Margaret Maitland, Percy William George Maitland, Maryvale Hn1 Pastoral Company Pty Ltd, Julia Caroline Ross, Daniel John Turley And Marie Ann Turley
Seventh – (TWENTY VARIOUS PASTORAL RESPONDENTS)
Judge: Logan J
Where made: Charters Towers
Native title exists in part of the determination area. It consists of non-exclusive native title rights.
Native title is held by the Gudjala People
Non-exclusive native title rights and interests that exist over part of the determination area consist of:
- the right to access, be present on, move about, and travel over the determination area;
- the right to camp, and live temporarily on the area as part of camping, and build temporary shelters;
- the right to hunt, fish, and gather on the land and waters of the area for personal, domestic and non-commercial communal purposes;
- the right to take and use the natural resources, including water, from the land and waters of the area for personal, domestic and non-commercial communal purposes;
- the right to conduct ceremonies and teach on the area;
- the right to maintain places of importance and areas of significance to the native title holders under their traditional laws and customs and protect those places and areas from physical harm; and
- the right to light fires on the area for domestic purposes including cooking, but not for the purpose of hunting or clearing vegetation.
Non-native title rights and interests that exist within the determination area
- the rights and interests of parties involved in ILUA's over the determination area;
- the rights and interests of Ergon Energy Corporation as the owner and operator of any “Works” within the determination area;
- the rights and interests of Charters Towers Regional Council and Flinders Shire Council under their local government jurisdiction and functions for that part of the determination area within the area declared to be their respective local government areas;
- the rights and interests of the holders of leases, licences, reservations, permits, easements or authorities granted under the Land Act 1994 (Qld);
- the rights and interests of the holders of any permits, claims, licences or leases granted under the Mineral Resources Act 1989 (Qld);
- the rights and interests of the public to access parts of the determination area; and
- the rights and interests held by the State of Queensland or the Commonwealth of Australia.
In the case of conflict, the exercise of non-native title rights and interests will prevail over the non-exclusive native title.
Provisions Relevant to the Native Title Rights
Ngrragoonda Aboriginal Corporation, as the prescribed body corporate, is to perform functions required under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and to act as agent for the native title holders. The native title is not held on trust for the native title holders.
The Gudjala People's successful native title claim provided them with formal recognition to over 20,000 square kilometres of land near Charters Towers, inland from Townsville.
According to the North Queensland Land Council, "...the Federal Court determination brings closure to those who have fought for the right to claim the land as their own." (2014) The native title handed down today will allow the Gudjala People to enter into formal negotiations with landowners over future land. The determination gives them greater freedom to access land to hunt, fish, camp and carry out ceremonies.
“All we wanted was to be known as the people from this area. It’s been a long time coming and today finally we’ve got here.” (North Queensland Land Council, 2014)
Details of Judgement
Through mediation, agreement has been reached as to the terms of a determination of native title to provide recognition of the native title rights and interests held by the Gudjala People in relation to part of the land and waters covered by the Gudjala Application. The signed document was then filed in the Federal Court pursuant to s 87 of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).
The court was satisfied that a determination of native title was within the power of the court.