- Second Section 47C Native Title Act Agreement recognised in Western Australia
- Resolution of one of the oldest native title claims in Australia
- Recognition for Purnululu and Gajangana Jaru native title claimants
The Purnululu and Gajangana Jaru native title claimants have today received recognition of native title over Purnululu National Park, as a result of an historic agreement with the McGowan Government.
Purnululu National Park – which includes the Bungle Bungle Range and covers almost 240,000 hectares in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia – had been subject to two longstanding, overlapping native title claims.
The Section 47C amendments to the Native Title Act 1993 extended the circumstances where prior extinguishment of native title can be disregarded for National and State conservation parks, through agreement with the State Government.
Today's Federal Court of Australia (Federal Court) determination confirms that under section 47C of the Native Title Act 1993, extinguishment of native title over Purnululu National Park and Purnululu Conservation Reserve is to be disregarded and recognises the native title rights and interests of the Traditional Owners over these areas.
The Purnululu determination is the second Section 47C Agreement in Australian history, following the WA Government's first such agreement with the Yarnangu people over the Pila Nature Reserve earlier in the year. Both results underline the McGowan Government's strong commitment to supporting the recognition of Traditional Owners, and their connection to country across the State.
In addition to the Purnululu National Park and Purnululu Conservation Reserve, the determination made by the Federal Court today also recognises native title over neighbouring Crown land, including parts of the Texas Downs pastoral lease. A ceremonial sitting of the Federal Court will occur on-country in May 2023 to celebrate the determination.
Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti:
"The McGowan Government congratulates the Purnululu and Gajangana Jaru native title holders on this significant achievement.
"WA's recognition of Traditional Owners – and their enduring connection to country under section 47C – is unparalleled.
"Alongside the Pila Nature Reserve determination earlier this year, this is the second Section 47C Agreement in Australian history, and the McGowan Government remains steadfastly committed to reaching native title outcomes by agreement.
"We look forward to building an enduring relationship with the Traditional Owners of the iconic Purnululu National Park."
Comments attributed to Kimberley MLA Divina D'Anna:
"Congratulations to the Purnululu and Gajangana Jaru native title groups on this long-awaited determination.
"This is an announcement which acknowledges native title and forms the basis for a strong association over an area which is of great cultural significance to the Traditional Owner groups.
"This historic recognition of the deep knowledge and connection to country of traditional owners and old people by the McGowan Government has been a long time in the making and is a proud moment for us all.
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