- First section 47C Native Title Act Agreement to become operative in Australia
- Historic settlement provides economic, social and cultural benefits for the Yarnangu people
- Gibson Desert Nature Reserve is renamed Pila Nature Reserve
- Reserve now jointly managed by Traditional Owners and State Government
In a nationwide first, the McGowan Government has today realised a historic on-country native title determination with Traditional Owners in the Gibson Desert region, the Yarnangu people.
The agreement follows a Federal Court determination that extinguishment of native title over the Pila Nature Reserve (formerly the Gibson Desert Nature Reserve) can be disregarded and the native title rights and interests of the Yarnangu people recognised over the Reserve.
The Gibson Desert Nature Reserve Compensation and Lurrtjurrlulu Palakitjalu Settlement Agreement covers approximately 19,000 square kilometres of land in the Gibson Desert, located roughly 1,800 kilometres north east of Perth.
Lurrtjurrlulu Palakitjalu translated into English means 'we will do it together', reflecting the intention of the State Government and Traditional Owners to jointly manage the Country covered by the Reserve.
A traditional Aboriginal name was chosen for the new Pila Nature Reserve. 'Pila' describes the prevailing geography of the reserve area, which when translated to English means plains/flat country.
The Agreement will see the Reserve jointly vested and managed by the Warnpurru Aboriginal Corporation and the Conservation and Parks Commission under the Conservation and Land Management Act, providing economic, social and cultural benefits for Aboriginal communities in the area.
The agreement preserves the public right to travel along the Gary Highway and Gunbarrel Highway.
A settlement package has set aside $7.5 million over 10 years to support the joint management activities for the Reserve, providing meaningful work and training opportunities for the Traditional Owners at Patjarr, Warburton and surrounding communities.
In addition, the settlement package will provide funding to improve infrastructure within the Patjarr community to support joint management activities.
Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti:
"This national first is a just outcome that all Western Australians should feel very proud of.
"The recognition of native title represents a major achievement, particularly for the Traditional Owners of the Country covered by the Reserve, the Yarnangu people, who have worked for this outcome over a very long period.
"Through the new name of Pila Nature Reserve, we properly reflect the area's traditional language and honour its cultural significance.
"I congratulate the Warnpurru Aboriginal Corporation and all those who have worked towards this historic achievement."
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Reece Whitby:
"By recognising native title over the area of the reserve, we are acknowledging the importance of the traditional rights and cultural responsibility to the Traditional Owners.
"I look forward to seeing the Warnpurru Aboriginal Corporation and the WA Government working together to jointly manage the reserve.
"The State Government is listening to Traditional Owners across WA, as well as delivering positive economic and social benefits to Aboriginal people.
"Through joint management arrangements, we are working together to build strong partnerships and develop key initiatives such as the Aboriginal Ranger Program for the benefit of communities and the environment."
Aboriginal Affairs Minister's office - 6552 6400
Environment Minister's office - 6552 6300