South West Native Title Settlement agreements upheld for Noongar people

South West Native Title Settlement agreements have been registered to provide long-term settlement opportunities for Noongar people.

Six Indigenous Land Use Agreements were upheld after the Full Federal Court found no errors in authorising the settlement.

Settlement will establish a strong Noongar community through the creation of Noongar Corporations representing the interests of Noongar people, with the government working with the corporations to realise the goals.

The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Councils, the State Government and the future Noongar Boodja Trustee have been preparing for the settlement to commence.

WA Parliament had passed the Noongar (Koorah, Nitja, Boordahwan) (Past, Present, Future) Recognition Act in 2016, recognising the Noongar people as the traditional owners of the South West.

It also enabled laws to allow key elements of the Settlement to take effect.

Registration of the Agreements was the final step before benefits could be passed onto the Noongar community.

The government said the decision was a big step towards beginning the settlement, with a 28-day period for any applications for special leave to the High Court to appeal the decision.

Settlement cannot begin until all court matters involving registration of Indigenous Land Use Agreements are resolved.

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt said the Noongar community had waited a long time for the settlement to begin.

“For too long lawyers have tried to stymie the historic agreement between the WA Government and the Noongar people,” Mr Wyatt said.

“I now call on them to stop the ongoing expensive legal indulgence and allow the Agreement to proceed so that the Noongar people of Western Australia can finally access the benefits they have been waiting for so long.”

He said the agreement would bring benefits to the indigenous community.

“The Settlement will provide significant long-term opportunities for the Noongar people to achieve long-term, self-determining social, economic and cultural outcomes,” Mr Wyatt said.

“The State Government urges everyone to now get behind the Settlement to ensure that the flow of benefits can commence as soon as possible.”

 

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