Malthouse on behalf of the Bar Barrum People #6 v State of Queensland (No 2) [2016] FCA 696

Category: Agreement
Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 10 June 2016
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)

Atherton Tableland, Northern Queensland Region 

State/Country:Queensland, Australia
The Determination Area covers land in and around Dimbulah, Herberton, Irvinebank, and Mount Garnett on the Atherton Tableland in North Queensland. The area is approximately 48.49 square kilometers, approximately 300km west of Cairns, and 285km north-west of the Tablelands in Far North Queensland. It includes areas of exclusive native title spanning approximately 39.88 square kilometers (combined), and areas of non-exclusive native title rights, spanning approximately 8.61 square kilometers (combined).
Legal Status:

Registered on the National Native Title Register. 

Legal Reference: Federal Court No: QUD6032/2001; National Native Title Tribunal No: QCD2016/2010.
Subject Matter:Native Title
Summary Information:

Malthouse on behalf of the Bar Barrum People #6 v State of Queensland (No.2) [2016] FCA 696

Between: Layne Malthouse, Tennyson Kynuna, and Lynette Burke on behalf of the Bar Barrum People #6 (Applicants), and the State of Queensland, Mareeba Shire CouncilErgon Energy Corporation Limited, Telstra Corporation Limited, Jodie Bunney, and Lachlan Shaw (Respondents). 

Judge: Reeves J Determination: Native Title exists in all of the determination area. It consists of exclusive and non-exclusive native title rights. 

Where made: Queensland 


Native title exists in all of the determination area. It consists of exclusive and non-exclusive native title rights. 

Native Title is held by the Bar Barrum People

Exclusive native title rights over the determination area:

  • the right to possession, occupation, use, and enjoyment of the land of the determination area to the exclusion of all others. 

Non-exclusive native title rights and interests that exist in the determination area:

In relation to water, the non-exclusive rights (within the exclusive area) for personal, domestic, and non-commercial communal purposes, include:

  • hunt, fish, and gather from the water of the area; 
  • take and use the natural resources of the water of the area; 
  • and take and use the water of the area.  

And in relation to the non-exclusive areas, as described in Part 2 of Schedule 1A of the determination, the non-exclusive rights exist to:

  • to access, be present, move about on and travel over the determination area; 
  • camp, live temporarily for the purpose of building temporary shelters on the area as part of camping; 
  • hunt, fish, and gather on the land and waters of the area for personal, domestic, and non-commercial communal purposes; 
  • take and use natural resources from the land and waters of the determination area for personal, domestic, and non-commercial communal purposes; 
  • take and use the Water of the determination area for personal, domestic, and non-commercial communal purposes, conduct ceremonies on the determination area; 
  • be buried and bury native title holders within the determination area; 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; 
  • teach on the determination area the physical and spiritual attributes of the area; hold meetings on the determination area; 
  • and light fires on the determination 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:

  • of Telstra Corporation Limited, as the owner or operator of telecommunications facilities installed within the determination area for the purpose of installing and maintaining telecommunication services; 
  • of Ergon Energy Corporation, as the owner or operator of any Works as defined by the Electricity Act 1994 (Qld), for the purpose of distributing, inspecting, managing, and maintaining any ‘Works’ in the determination area; 
  • of the Mareeba Shire Council as the local government, for the purpose of maintaining public infrastructure; 
  • of the State of Queensland in Reserves, trustees of those entitled to access and use the Reserves for the purpose for which they are reserved; of the State of Queensland or any other person under the Land Act 1994 (Qld); 
  • held by the State of Queensland or Commonwealth of Australia, under law. 

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

The Mbabaram Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC, as the prescribed body corporate, is to perform functions required under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and to act as agent for the Bar Barrum People. 

Detailed Information:


On 28 June 2001, Hely J made a determination of native title for the first application for determination of native title made on behalf of the Bar Barrum People (Bar Barrum People  #1). In the fifteen years between 2001 and 2016, the Bar Barrum People filed and litigated eight other applications. This claim was filed, within a series of other claims by the Bar Barrum People, in 2003. Four of which (Bar Barrum People  #2, #3, #4 and #6) were determined by the Federal Court on 10 June 2016 in Dimbulah, Queensland (Lyndham, 2016). 

In 2015, the consent determinations were delayed when the State of Queensland challenged the claim. The appeal was heard on the basis that during World War II the Commonwealth had taken possession of the land for military activities and as such any native title rights or interests had since been extinguished in the determination area. This High Court was split on the matter (Queensland v Congoo [2015] HCA 17). As such, the decision of the Federal Court was upheld, meaning the native title rights and interests of the Bar Barrum People were held to be valid [6]

Details of Judgment: 

Through case management conducted by the Deputy Registrar of the Federal Court, skilled legal representation, and a detailed set of submissions in support of the proposals made by the Bar Barrum Applicant, Reeves J was satisfied that agreement between the parties was free and informed [16]. The Court was satisfied that the determination of native title was within their power, and as such, the signed agreement was filed in the Federal Court pursuant to s 87 of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) [16] 


Native Title exists in the entire determination area.

Related Entries

  • Kynuna on behalf of the Bar Barrum People #5 v State of Queensland [2016] FCA 1504
  • Congoo on behalf of the Bar Barrum People #9 v State of Queensland [2017] FCA 1510
  • Bar Barrum #2-#7 and Tablelands Regional Council Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Congoo on behalf of the Bar Barrum People #4 v State of Queensland [2016] FCA 695
  • Congoo on behalf of the Bar Barrum People #2 v State of Queensland [2016] FCA 693
  • Congoo on behalf of the Bar Barrum People #3 v State of Queensland [2016] FCA 694
  • Organisation
  • Mareeba Shire Council
  • State of Queensland
  • Ergon Energy Corporation Limited
  • Telstra Corporation Limited
  • Mbabaram Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC
  • Legislation
  • Telecommunications Act 1975 (Cth)
  • Australian Telecommunications Corporation Act 1989 (Cth)
  • Telecommunications Act 1991 (Cth)
  • Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cth)
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Land Act 1994 (Qld)
  • Electricity Act 1994 (Qld)
  • People
  • Bar-Barrum People

  • References

    Media Release
    Hon. Dr Anthony Lynham, Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines (10/06/2010) Bar Burrum People have a new beginning


    National Native Title Tribunal Extract from the Native Title Applications, Registration Decisions and Determinations Register for QCD2016/010 as at 10/06/2016 (Bar Barrum People #6). - ( PDF | PDF | PDF)


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