Background to the Agreement
Justice Mortimer, in the Yamatji Nation Claim determination, described this ILUA as a cornerstone of the negotiated outcome for recognition of native title (Taylor on behalf of the Yamatji Nation Claim v State of Western Australia  FCA 42, 36). The determination and this ILUA together make up the Yamatji Nation Southern Regional Agreement (YNSRA) which settles the four prior overlapping native title claims of the Mullewa Wadjari, the Southern Yamatji, the Hutt River, and the Widi Mob. The first of these claims commenced in 1996, beginning what Mortimer J called a long and arduous process of negotiations .
The YNSRA was negotiated over a two year period, between 2017 and 2019, with the claim groups authorising the Yamatji Nation ILUA on 9 December 2019 (Yamatji Marlpa Aboriginal Corporation). The combined single Yamatji Nation Claim determination was made on 7 February 2020 and came into effect on the date this ILUA was registered, 30 July 2020.
Details of the Agreement
The ILUA is available in full below under References: Agreement (Government of Western Australia).
The Preamble to the ILUA recognises the diverse identity groups that make up the Yamatji Nation and their continuing connection to country.
The rights and obligations created commence on the ILUA's conclusive registration date, which is sixty days after registration or forty days after any legal proceedings in relation to the registration are exhausted. Within six months of the conclusive registration date, the State and the Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation must ensure that the Yamatji Nation Charitable Trust, set up to receive benefits from the State, is declared.
The ILUA is binding on the parties and their successors.
The parties may end this ILUA by written agreement.
Native Title Provisions
Right to negotiate
The parties intend that the right to negotiate provisions of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) do not apply to any of the acts agreed to be carried out within the native title areas. See Schedule 1 of the ILUA, below under documents, for a detailed description of the native title areas.
The parties agree that the native title rights and interests, other than in the native title areas, are surrendered and extinguished on the date that the ILUA is conclusively registered.
Future act provisions
The parties consent to the validation of acts that were done invalidly by the State prior to the ILUA's registration. The same applies to any public works done invalidly by people other than the State.
In return for removing the State's liability for acts done invalidly, the ILUA includes a package of benefits to compensate the Yamatji Nation for the impairment or extinguishment of their native title. The package is $442 million to be paid over 15 years and includes:
- $325 million to be held in a joint trust for the first ten years, thereafter transitioned to the sole management of the Yamatji Trustee;
- $70 million for economic development and property for the establishment of the Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation's headquarters;
- the transfer of approximately 14,500 hectares of Crown land in freehold;
- the transfer of approximately 134,000 hectares of Crown reserve land to the Bundi Yamatji Aboriginal Corporation;
- the joint vesting and management of new and existing Conservation Park and National Park areas within the Yamatji Conservation Estate;
- the transfer of commercial and industrial land valued at $8.7 million;
- the transfer of social housing properties;
- 35 percent of the annual rental from mining tenure for ten years;
- 5 percent of the lease income from land within the Oakajee Industrial Precinct;
- recognition of native title over certain parcels of land (see 'native title in the agreement area' below, or for a full description see Schedule 1 of the ILUA under documents below); and
- projects for the protection of cultural heritage and water site restoration
See the Western Australian Government Yamatji Nation ILUA Fact Sheets below under References.
Native Title in the Agreement Area
Non-exclusive native title exists over parts of the ILUA area, as determined by consent in Taylor on behalf of the Yamatji Nation Claim v State of Western Australia  FCA 42. Schedule 1 of the ILUA describes the native title areas as being within Lucky Bay Reserve 35206, Kadji Kadji pastoral lease areas (Lot 8532 on DP 154221), the Ex Barnong Area, Aboriginal Land Title Areas (Reserves 28609, 28608, and part of 28607), Menai Hill, and parcels of land adjacent to Wandana Nature Reserve 36388.