26/11/2020 - 11:00

South West native title challenges dismissed

26/11/2020 - 11:00

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The High Court of Australia has dismissed all special leave applications challenging the registration of the South West Native Title Settlement Agreement.

Vanessa Kickett says she is delighted the High Court had dismissed the applications.

The High Court of Australia has dismissed all special leave applications challenging the registration of the South West Native Title Settlement Agreement.

The decision means all avenues for review of the Native Title Registrar’s decisions to register the six Indigenous Land Use Agreements in October 2018 have been exhausted.

The South West Native Title Settlement will resolve all native title claims in the South West in exchange for around $1.3 billion in land and other benefits for Noongar people.

The settlement will start within 40 business days of conclusive registration, with assets beginning to flow to the Noongar Boodja Trust within 60 business days of its establishment following the settlement commencement date.

The six Noongar regional corporations representing the rights and interests of the six Indigenous Land Use Agreements groups will then be established.

South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council chair Vanessa Kickett said she was delighted the High Court had dismissed the applications, a decision which brought close to five years of appeals to an end.

“Today I remember the Noongar Elders who fought so long to win justice for our people and who passed before they were able to see this day come to pass and I pay my respects to their memory and the legacy they leave for us,” Ms Kickett said,

“On behalf of the SWALSC board, I ask the Noongar community to accept today’s decision and come together with us as we begin the nation-building task we have ahead of us.

“The path to date has brought many challenges, but we remain focused on honouring the vision of our ancestors, our elders and our communities, whose guidance and dignity inspire us to be strong and proud.”

Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt said the Noongar community had waited a long time for this moment and he was relieved the long-running litigation was over.

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

“The benefits of the agreement have been long delayed by the now concluded litigation and I call on all Noongar people to unite behind the Settlement, join together in establishing strong Noongar regional corporations, and maximise the significant opportunities provided by the settlement, for the benefit of the community as a whole.”

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