Territory Stories

Land rights news : Central Australia



Land rights news : Central Australia

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Central Land Council newsletter


Central Land Council


Land Rights News : Central Australia; E-Journals; PublicationNT; Land Rights News : Central Australia




Alice Springs


This publication contains many links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).; Published three times a year




Central Land Council (Australia); Land tenure; Aboriginal Australians; Periodicals

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Central Land Council

Place of publication

Alice Springs


Land Rights News : Central Australia


Volume 2 Number 2, August 2012

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Central Land Council.



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News The Alice Springs Native Title decision in 2000 was a victory for the Arrernte people. It marked the first time native title had been granted in an Australian town. Nearly 130 years after European settlement began in Central Australia, the common law of Australia recognised the native title rights and interests that Arrernte people have exercised as the owners of the Alice Springs area for thousands of years. It took six years from when the Arrernte people lodged a claimants application with the Native Title Tribunal for it to be finally granted by Federal Court. The Court heard from the native title claimants about how they and their ancestors had consistently continued to live in and around Alice Springs, hunting and gathering and looking after their country, and exercising their rights to make decisions about it. In May 2000, six years and several hundred thousand dollars later, the Federal Court handed down a determination that: recognised coexisting native title rights and interests on most reserve, park and vacant Crown land and waters within Alice Springs; confirmed that native title is protected by the Native Title Act, and also that the future act provisions apply to all land use, land management and acquisition activities the Government might wish to undertake on reserve, park and vacant Crown land; and required the setting up of a native title body corporate to act as the agent and representative of Alice Springs native title hold- ers. The Arrernte set up Lhere Artepe to make those decisions about future land use in the town. 20 year anniversary Aboriginal Land Rights Act Eddie Mabo High Court native title. decision Since the Alice Springs claim, there have been a number of native title victories for Aboriginal people in Central Australia. Tennant Creek became the first town in Australia to have a native title determination made by consent rather than litigation . Part of the victory involved being granted freehold title to Kunjarra or the Devils Pebbles, a site very dear to the Warumungu There have been a number of other determinations in which native title has been recognised, including some pastoral leases where they once said native title could never be claimed. Singleton, Pine Hill, Newhaven, Ooratippra, Kurundi and Neutral Junction have all had determinations in favour of the native title holders. These have been by the consent of all parties. There are many places which have made agreements called Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) under the Native Title Act, which have allowed the traditional owners to get some benefits where they might not have got any. I remember sitting to the side of a stage in Sydneys Redfern Park on 10 December 1992, shooting the breeze with friends as PM Keating stepped forward to launch and officially declare 1993 as the International Year of the Worlds Indigenous Peoples. Aunties and uncles sat patiently in rows of plastic chairs in front of the stage, girding themselves for what promised to be another dull political speech. About a third of the way through, all our ears began to prick up. Keatings words were so stunningly unexpected and so decently honest unmatched to this day, in my opinion that I feel impelled to include them here: KEATINGS FAMOUS REDFERN SPEECH KEATINGS FAMOUS REDFERN SPEECH rrepressentatiive of Alicee Spriingnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn s nnativee tittle hooooooohoohhhhh lld- erss. Thee Arreerntee set uup Lhhere AArtepee to makke thhose deecisioons about futuure landd use in thee towwn. Sincce the Allice Sprrings cllaim, thhere have been a nuumber oof nativve titlee victories foor Aboriginal ppeople in Cenntral Australlia. Tennnant Crreek became the firrst town inn Austraalia to have aa nativve title detterminaation mmade byy conseent rather tthan litiigationn . Partt of the vvictoryy involvved beiing grantedd freehoold titlee to Kuunjarraa or the Devvils Pebbles, a site veery deaar to the Warrumunggu Therre have bbeen a numbeer of otther determiinationss in wwhich nnative title has beeen recoggnised, incluuding ssome pastoraal leasess wherre they once said native ttitle coould neever bee claimmed. Singletoon, Piine HHill, NNewhaaven, Ooratipppra, KKurunddi and Neuutral Junction have all hadd deterrminattions in favouur of thee native title hholderss. Thesse have been bby the consennt of all partiies. Therre are mmany pplaces wwhich hhave made agreements caalled Inndigenous Land UUse Agreeementts (ILUUAs) uunder the Native TTitle AAct, whiich havve allowedd the traaditionaal owneers to get somme beneefits wwhere tthey might nnot havee got anny.

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