Ngwarray on behalf of the members of the Alhankerr, Atwel/Alkwepetye, Ilkewarn, Kwaty, Mpweringke, Ntyerlkem/Urapentye and Tywerl Landholding Groups v Northern Territory of Australia  FCA 337
Between: Ngwarray on behalf of the members of the Alhankerr, Atwel/Alkwepetye, Ilkewarn, Kwaty, Mpweringke, Ntyerlkem/Urapentye and Tywerl Landholding Groups (Applicant) and Northern Territory of Australia (Respondents)
Judge: Griffiths J
Native title exists in part of the determination area. It consists of non-exclusive native title rights and interests.
Native title is held by: Members of one or more of the Alhankerr, Atwel/Alkwepetye, Ilkewarn, Kwaty, Mpweringke, Ntyerlkem/Urapentye and Tywerl landholding groups respectively by virtue of descent OR or accepted members of those groups by recognition. It is also held by recognised members of the Kwaty landholding group AND those persons with a connection to the Kwaty estate on the basis of shared Dreaming track affiliation.
Exclusive native title rights and interests over all of the determination area
There are no exclusive native title rights and interests that exist in the determination area in Schedule B
Non-exclusive native title rights and interests over all of the determination area
These rights exist over the area described in Schedule B and include:
- The right to access and travel over any part of the land and waters;
- The right to live on the land, and for that purpose, to camp, erect shelters and other structures;
- The right to hunt, gather and fish on the land and waters;
- The right to take and use the natural resources of the land and waters;
- The right to access, take and use natural water on or in the land, except water captured by the holders of Perpetual Pastoral Lease No. 1097;
- The right to light fires for domestic purposes, but not for the clearance of vegetation;
- The right to share or exchange natural resources obtained on or from the land and waters, including traditional items made from the natural resources;
- The right to access and to maintain and protect sites and places on or in the land and waters that are important under traditional laws and customs;
- The right to conduct and participate in the following activities on the land and waters: (i) cultural activities; (ii) ceremonies; (iii) meetings; (iv) cultural practices relating to birth and death including burial rites; and (v) teaching the physical and spiritual attributes of sites and places on the land and waters that are important under traditional laws and customs;
- The right to make decisions about the use and enjoyment of the land and waters by Aboriginal people who recognise themselves to be governed by the traditional laws and customs acknowledged by the native title holders provided that the right does not extend to making any decision that purports to control the access of such persons to the determination area;
- The right to be accompanied on the land and waters by persons who, though not native title holders, are: (i) people required by traditional law and custom for the performance of ceremonies or cultural activities on the land and waters; (ii) people who have rights in relation to the land and waters according to the traditional laws and customs acknowledged by the native title holders; (iii) people required by the native title holders to assist in, observe, or record traditional activities on the areas; and
- The right to conduct activities necessary to give effect to the rights referred to above.
Non-native title rights and interests in the determination area in Schedule B include:
- Various companies and related entities have non-native title rights and interests in parts of the area. More information on the specific companies and parts of the area is available via the NNTT Extract. These companies are (i) Aileron Pastoral Holdings Pty Ltd (APH); (ii) GWA (North) Pty Ltd; (iii) Arafura Resources Limited; (iv) Australian Mining & Gemstone Co Pty Ltd; (v) Territory Exploration Pty Ltd; (vi) Telstra Corporation Limited; (vii) APT Pipelines (NT) Pty Ltd; (viii) Conservation Land Corporation; (ix) AustralAsia Railway Corporation and (x) Jinka Minerals Ltd.
- The rights of Aboriginal persons (whether or not native title holders) by virtue of the Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act 1989 (NT);
- Rights of access by an employee, servant, agent or instrumentality of the Northern Territory, Commonwealth or other statutory authority as required in the performance of his or her statutory duties; and
- The interests of persons to whom valid or validated rights and interests have been:(i)granted by the Crown pursuant to statute or otherwise in the exercise of its executive power; or(ii)conferred by statute.
See Schedule B for further information about the non-native title rights and interests.
In the case of conflict, the exercise of non-native title rights and interests will prevail over the non-exclusive native title
The Irretyepwenty Ywentent Pwert Aboriginal Corporation Registered Native Title Body Corporate (RNTBC), is the prescribed body corporate. It performs the functions required under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) and acts as agent for the native title holders. The native title is not held in trust for the native title holders.
Full text of the determination is available via the URL link above.
The Aileron application was first filed on 21 March 2014 pursuant to s. 61 of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), and was entered on the Register of Native Title Claims on 26 June 2014.
The outcome of the consent determination has recognised the claim to approximately 4,002 square kilometres of land. The rights will co-exist with those of the Aileron lease holders, who will continue to run the properties as cattle stations.
Details of Judgment
The parties reached agreement as to the terms of the Determination which was to be made in relation to the land and waters covered by the application. They requested that the Court hear and determine this proceeding in
accordance with their agreement.
The Court was satisfied that it would be appropriate and within its
power to recognise the native title holders
for the determined area.