Eric Ripper

Eric Ripper

Deputy Premier; Treasurer; Minister for State Development

    Full Federal Court sets aside native title finding

    23/04/2008 12:00 AM

    A 2006 Federal Court decision recognising native title over the Perth Metropolitan area has been set aside by the Full Federal Court, Acting Premier Eric Ripper said today.


    The court found Justice Murray Wilcox, who made the original finding, had made serious errors in applying the High Court rules for the proof of native title.


    Mr Ripper acknowledged that Noongar people would be very disappointed with the decision.


    “I take no personal satisfaction from this finding but I believe the State Government had a responsibility to seek legal clarity in native title law for the benefit of the whole community,” he said.


    “The State Government respects the special relationship of Noongar people with land in the South-West and we look forward to continuing our negotiations with them.


    “With this decision, we now have a clear and consistent understanding of the law, one that will give both the Government and Noongar people a solid platform for negotiations.”


    The Acting Premier said the State Government acknowledged Noongar people as the traditional owners of the South-West region and would continue to negotiate with the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council to resolve their native title claims.


    The State Government has been negotiating with SWALSC since the decision to appeal. The Government is also working with the Commonwealth to reach a resolution with Noongar people.


    Under the Gallop/Carpenter Government, there have been 13 native title determinations made by consent.


    In total, 21 determinations have resolved native title over about 28 per cent of WA’s landmass, equivalent to about 740,


    Acting Premier's office - 9222 8788