THE WA Government has countered criticism of a $15 million agreement with Pilbara Native Title claimant groups finalised six months prior to a court ruling earlier this month.
A spokesperson for Native Title Minister Eric Ripper said land access issues needed to be squared away ahead of planned developments.
The agreement provided for the preservation of rock art and other Aboriginal heritage, environmental co-management of non-industrial land, and employment and training opportunities in exchange for the relinquishing of any Native Title claim over Burrup and Maitland Estate industrial areas.
It also provided for the transfer of 5 per cent of land parcels/subdivisions to the future approved corporate body for the claimants, or an equivalent payment based on five per cent of the value.
The spokesperson said the package would deliver $3.5 million directly to the claimants, but $10 million covered the Maitland Estate area, for which some Native Title rights had been determined.
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