- Second annual payment of $63 million made to the Noongar Boodja Trust
- Flow of benefits negotiated under the Settlement continues
- Settlement will support Noongar empowerment and deliver long-term economic, social and cultural outcomes
The second of 12 annual State payments of $63 million was made today to the Noongar Boodja Trust (Trust) under the South West Native Title Settlement (Settlement).
The State's annual payment comprises of a Future Fund payment for $50 million plus indexation and an Operations Fund payment for $10 million plus indexation. It is one of many benefits that will continue to flow from the Settlement to the Noongar people.
The Future Fund will be protected in order to grow its value over time so that future Noongar generations will benefit from the Settlement.
The Operations Fund will finance the operations of the six Noongar Regional Corporations and the Central Services Corporation (collectively the Noongar Corporations).
Last year, the Settlement formally commenced, followed by the establishment of the Trust, appointment of the initial Noongar Boodja Trustee (Trustee) and the first historic State payment of $60 million was made to the Trust.
Other significant milestones have also been achieved under the Settlement, such as the first transfers of boodja (land) made to the Trust. Approximately 1,016 hectares of Crown land has now been transferred to the Trust for cultural and development purposes. This includes the divestment of three properties from the Aboriginal Lands Trust Estate, with more to follow in the near future.
Earlier this year, the Noongar Advisory Company (NAC) was established as part of the Settlement's Noongar Governance Structure to provide advice and assistance to the Trustee. It is anticipated the NAC will transition over 12 years to become the Dedicated Trustee. This reflects the intention of the Noongar people's capacity to build towards self-determination as the NAC gradually takes on more responsibilities for managing the Trust.
Important progress has also been made towards the establishment of the six Noongar Regional Corporations, with all now registered with the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations and the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, and likely to be operational before the end of 2022. With more than 3,400 members across the six Regional Corporations, the Regional Corporations will represent the rights and interests of the six Noongar Agreement Groups.
The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) is also advanced in transitioning to become the Central Services Corporation, which will provide financial, administrative and corporate services support to the Regional Corporations.
Significant partnership arrangements and benefits will commence once the Noongar Corporations are operational, including in relation to the conservation estate, Aboriginal heritage, housing, community development and economic participation.
Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Dr Tony Buti:
"The Settlement will provide opportunities for the Noongar people to achieve sustainable social, economic and cultural outcomes, and the second State payment to the Noongar Boodja Trust enables the flow of benefits to continue.
"The WA Government remains committed to growing strong partnerships with the Noongar people in order to maximise the many opportunities under the Settlement that will benefit Noongar generations to come.
"I strongly encourage the Noongar communities' continued participation in the establishment of their representative Regional Corporations.
"I look forward to the commencement of the formal partnerships between the Regional Corporations, Central Services Corporation and the WA Government that will lay the foundations for a prosperous and shared future of Western Australia."
Comments attributed to South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council Chief Executive Officer Ed Armstrong:
"The Settlement, as Australia's largest and most comprehensive native title settlement, provides the support to empower Noongar people to develop economic, social and community outcomes, along with building a strong and unified Noongar Nation.
"As SWALSC continues to drive the implementation of the Settlement and transition to the Central Services Corporation, we look forward to delivering support to the Regional Corporations to assist them in achieving their mission and maximising outcomes of the Settlement."
Comments attributed to Perpetual Trustee, Managing Partner, Community & Social Investment and ESG Caitriona Fay:
"Perpetual, as the first Noongar Boodja Trustee, welcomes the opportunity to act as Trustee of the Noongar Boodja Trust and to work with Noongar people to realise the aspirations of the community that are intrinsically linked to country, culture and community.
"Perpetual honours the Noongar people, who are the traditional owners of Noongar boodja, and respects the fundamental connection between the Noongar Boodja Trust Fund and the Noongar Agreement Groups whose corporations are the sole beneficiaries of the Noongar Boodja Trust.
"Perpetual is committed to working in partnership with the Noongar people through their elected representatives to secure a self-determined future for the Noongar people."
Minister's office - 6552 6400