Sceghi on behalf of the Kultju Native Title Claim Group v State of Western Australia [2019] FCA 1756

Date: 30 October 2019
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)

Goldfields Region, Western Desert

State/Country:Western Australia, Australia
The determination area covers approx. 5,491 sq km, and includes the Barwidgee Pastoral Lease area, part of the Wonganoo and Lake Violet Pastoral Leases, an area of Unclaimed Crown Land, and five Reserve areas. For a detailed description of the area and maps see Part 1 of Schedule 1 of the determination and Schedule 5, attached below under documents. The area is within the jurisdiction of the Leonara and Wiluna Shire Councils.
Legal Status:

Registered on the National Native Title Register 30/10/2019.

Legal Reference: Federal Court File No.: WAD225/2018; National Native Title Tribunal File No.: WCD2019/012.
Subject Matter:Native Title
Summary Information:


Keith Sceghi, Colleen Jane Berry, Danny Brett Ulrich & Sandra Wongawol (Applicant) and State of Western Australia, Central Desert Native Title Services Ltd & BHP Billiton Nickel West Pty Ltd (Respondents)

Judge: Colvin J

Where made:Turtle Creek


Native title exists in the entire determination area

It consists of non-exclusive native title rights and interests.

These rights and interests are exercisable in accordance with traditional laws and customs of the native title holders and are subject to the laws of the State and Commonwealth.

Native title holders

Native title is held by the persons who have a connection to the area in accordance with Western Desert traditional law and customs, and as described fully in Schedule 2.

Non-exclusive native title rights and interests over all of the determination area

These rights exist over the area described in Part 1 of Schedule 1 and mapped in Schedule 5. They include the right to:

  • access, remain in and use the area;
  • access, take and use the resources of the area for any purpose;
  • engage in spiritual and cultural activities in the area; and
  • maintain and protect places of significance in the area.

Other rights and interests in the determination area include those held

  • by persons who have the care, control, and management of five specified reserves;
  • by the holders from time to time of the Barwidgee, Wonganoo, and Lake Violet pastoral leases;
  • in Darlot Road;
  • by the holder from time to time of 177 mining tenements under the Mining Act 1978 (WA);
  • under grants of the State or Commonwealth made under statute or otherwise;
  • under State or Commonwealthlegislation, including the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914 (WA); and
  • by employees or agents of the State, Commonwealth, or local government authority to access in the performance of their duties.

See Schedule 4 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.

Prescribed Body Corporate

The Kultju Aboriginal Corporation Registered Native Title Body Corporate (RNTBC) is the prescribed body corporate. It holds the native title in trust and performs the functions required under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

Full text of the determination is available via the URL link above.

Detailed Information:


The Kultja application was filed in the Federal Court on 28 May 2018.

Kultju elders had been fighting for the land for over 20 years, traditional owner, Edie Ulrich said at the handing down of the determination at Turtle Creek (Tom Zaunmeyer).

Details of Judgment

Colvin J was satisfied that the requirements of ss 87 and 225 were met and that it was in the power of the Court to make orders in terms of those proposed by the parties [15].


Native title exists in the entire determination area.

Related Entries

  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • State of Western Australia - Respondent
  • Central Desert Native Title Services Ltd - Respondent
  • BHP BIlliton Nickel West Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Shire of Leonora
  • Shire of Wiluna
  • Kultju Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • Native Title (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Regulations 1999 (Cth)
  • Mining Act 1978 (WA)
  • Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914 (WA)
  • People
  • Keith Sceghi & others - Native Title Applicant
  • Kultju native title claim group - Native Title Claimant

  • References

    News Item
    Tom Zaunmayr Kultja people of northern Goldfields win 25-year native title fight.


    Extract from the National Native Title Register for WCD2019/012 as at 16/02/2021 (Kultju) - ( PDF | PDF | PDF | PDF | PDF)


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