Western Australia: Information About The Negotiations Aimed At Resolving The Noongar Native Title Claims


What the State’s Offer for out of Court Settlement of native title in the South West looks like:

  • Recognition of the traditional ownership of Noongar people in an Act of Parliament which is supported by an agreement and ratified in the court.
  • Customary rights to a far greater expanse of land than a win in the native title court.
  • Land – several hundred thousand hectares have so far been identified for transfer to a Noongar land estate. This land would support cultural, social and economic activities. This does not include ALT lands.
  • Joint management of national parks, as well as access for customary activities to national parks.
  • An improved heritage protection regime.
  • A modified future act regime which concentrates on significant projects.
  • A governance infrastructure which will support Noongar culture and people as well as manage lands, oversee joint management and other outcomes.
  • Community and cultural development programmes – one of the most important features of out of court settlements is they provide resources to support elders, cultural camps, language, transmission of cultural knowledge and a variety of cultural support activities.
  • Funds in excess of the State’s legal liabilities in the event of a win in the courts of an amount that can provide an ongoing and durable income for Noongar people.

What a win in the Courts would look like:

  • Recognition of Traditional Ownership by the Court.
  • Customary rights on lands, but only on those lands where native title hasn’t been extinguished already. This is on far less land than contained within the offer from the State.
  • A continued future act regime for lands where native title has not been extinguished. The future act regime in the south west costs more money than it raises from agreements.
  • Compensation for post 1975 extinguishment of native title rights. Without exaggeration, this would not flow for at least 20 years as every individual land parcel needs to be examined to figure out when the extinguishment act occurred. That is every house block, every farm, every area of crown land across the south west.
  • One body corporate with no resources.
  • No land.
  • No National Park joint management and no customary activities in these areas.
  • No improved heritage management.
  • No cultural or community development programmes.
  • No monies until after a compensation claim can be run, which would take many years.
For more information on the Noongar Native Title Claims, download the document (.pdf).

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