Stuart v State of South Australia (No 3) [2021] FCA 230

Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 17 March 2021
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)

Eyre Lake Basin

State/Country:South Australia, Australia
The determination area is a roughly triangular area south of Marree that covers parts of the Mundowdna and Witchelina Pastoral Leases. For a detailed description and depiction of the area see Schedules 1 and Schedule 2 B, attached below under documents.
Legal Status:

Registered with the National Native Title Tribunal on the Native Title Register.

Legal Reference: Federal Court file no.: SAD38/2013; National Native Title Tribunal file no.: SCD2021/001
Alternative Names:
  • Arabana no 2 Part 1
  • Subject Matter:Native Title
    Summary Information:

    Between:Aaron Stuart, Joanne Warren, Peter Watts and Greg Warren (Applicant) and State of South Australia (Respondent)

    Judge: Charlesworth J


    Native title exists in parts of the determination area

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

    Native title holders

    Native title is held by the Arabana People.

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

    These rights and interests exist over the area described in Schedule 3 and include the right to:

    • access to live on, camp on, and erect shelters on the determination area;
    • hunt and fish on the land and waters;
    • gather and use natural resources such as food, medicinal plants, wild tobacco, tiber, resin, ochre and feathers, excluding the resources referred to in Item 1 of Schedule 4;
    • conduct ceremonies and hold meetings; and
    • maintain and protect sites and places of cultural and religious significance.

    Other rights and interests in the determination area include those:

    • held under the Mundowdna pastoral lease;
    • held under the Witchelina pastoral lease;
    • conferred by the Crown Land Management Act 2009 (SA), Crown Lands Act 1929 (SA), Mining Act 1971 (SA), Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 (SA) and Opal Mining Act 1995 (SA); and
    • conferred by the State or of the Commonwealth.

    See the attached NNTT Extract 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

    At the time the determination was made, the Arabana People had not yet nominateda Native Title Body Corporate (RNTBC) to perform the functions required under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

    The Court granted a period of six months from the date of judgment to allow an approved prescribed body corporate to be nominated [23].

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

    Detailed Information:


    This application for the determination of native title relates to two distinct areas near Lake Eyre, and was divided into two parts [1]. This determination relates to thePart 1 area. The Part 2 area is wholly overlapping the Walka Wani claim and is to be determined separately [4].

    This present Part 1 determination area is roughly triangular, south of Marree, near Lake Eyre. This proceeding effectively fills in the small area that was not included in a previous native title determination for the Arabana People (Dodd v State of South Australia[2012] FCA 519) [5].

    Details of Judgment

    The ethnographic evidence places the determination area in Kuyani country at the time of the assertion of British sovereignty [17]. The State accepted that the Arabana, Kuyani, and Dieri people are members of the wider Lakes Group[17]. Also, the Applicant and State jointly submitted that members of the Arabana and Kuyani Peoples participated in each other's responsibilities in relation to the area; they share the same concept of Dreaming Beings, Story Lines, laws and customs [17]. The Applicant's evidence describes the last Kuyani elder giving ceremonial objects to a member of the Arabana People, signifying the traditional handing over of responsibility for the country, and the rights in it, to the Arabana People [18]. The Court was satisfied that the Arabana People are part of the wider Lakes Group and have a connection to the determination area derived by succession from the Kuyani People[20].

    Charlesworth J found that the procedural requirements of s 87 of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) were met [10]. The evidence provided by the Applicant demonstrated that the Arabana People hold native title rights and interests that were succeeded from the Kuyani People [20]-[25].


    Native title exists in parts of the determination area.

    Related Entries

  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • State of South Australia - Respondent
  • Arabana Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • Native Title (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Regulations 1999 (Cth)
  • Crown Land Management Act 2009 (SA)
  • Crown Lands Act 1929 (SA)
  • Mining Act 1971 (SA)
  • Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000 (SA)
  • Opal Mining Act 1995 (SA)
  • People
  • Arabana People - Native Title Claimant
  • Aaron Stuart & others - Native Title Applicant

  • Documents

    Extract from the National Native Title Register for file no.: SCD2021/001 as at 11/08/2022 (Arabana No 2 Part 1) - ( PDF | PDF | PDF | PDF | PDF | PDF)


    Native Title (Australia) | National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) (Australia) | Native Title Registers | Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Australia) | Applicant | Respondent | Consent Determination (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Aboriginal Corporation (Australia) | Native Title Applicants | Native Title Holders (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Registered Native Title Body Corporate (RNTBC) (Native Title Act) (Australia)