Eric Ripper

Eric Ripper

Deputy Premier; Treasurer; Minister for State Development

    Native title determination celebrates enduring culture.

    20/06/2008 12:00 AM

    Deputy Premier Eric Ripper has congratulated the Birriliburu people who will today celebrate their strong connection to country in a native title determination covering 66,593sq km of their Central Desert land.


    “I offer my sincere congratulations to the Birriliburu people,” Mr Ripper said.


    “This determination is a significant moment in their long history and I am delighted with this resolution.”


    The Deputy Premier thanked Central Kimberley-Pilbara MLA Tom Stephens, a strong supporter of indigenous peoples’ native title rights, who represented the Government at the determination.


    Mr Ripper said the Birriliburu people included some of the last indigenous Western Australians to make contact with non-indigenous people.


    He said a 1977 expedition had brought elderly hunter-gatherer couple Warri and Yutungka in from the desert and it was their strong connection to country that had helped the Birriliburu people with their native title claim.


    “The Birriliburu people’s enduring relationship with their traditional country has helped them meet the State’s guidelines for connection,” the Deputy Premier said.


    “I congratulate them on having that relationship recognised through this native title determination.”


    The Birriliburu people hold exclusive possession native title over the entire  determination area, which falls within the Shires of Wiluna and Ngaanyatjarraku.


    Under the Gallop/Carpenter Governments, there have been 15 native title determinations by consent.


    In total, 23 determinations have resolved native title over about 31 per cent of WA’s landmass, equivalent to about 800,


    Deputy Premier's Office - 9222 8788