Indigenous rights granted over nearly 5,000 square kilometers in the NT desert | Country life in Queensland
The traditional owners of two remote cattle ranches in the Northern Territory celebrated recognition of their indigenous property rights.
Rights were granted this week on pastoral cattle leases from Jinka and Jervois, 340m northeast of Alice Springs and adjacent to the Queensland border.
Justice Charlesworth delivered a non-exclusive consent to Indigenous title decision over an area of nearly 5,000 square kilometers in a Federal Court sitting in the community of Bonya this week.
The area of determination covers the two leases, a disused storage road which halves them and a stock reserve, and housed the exploitation of copper and silver from the 1920s.
The Stocks Route passes through many cultural and historical places of importance to Indigenous peoples, including the Sacred Hills that are part of the Two Eaglehawks Dreaming.
Indigenous title holders belong to nine land groups and their families worked on the stations and mines.
Indigenous titleholder Henry Oliver said he could go hunting on the land like he did with his mother.
“She was born in this country and my stepfather was a breeder for the station,” Mr. Oliver said.
The native title request, which the Central Land Council filed in 2018 in response to renewed mining interest in the stations, was the first request for the granting of a storage route to a pastor that the NT government challenged. before the tribunal.
The government argued that only extinction or regulation of native title should trigger Native Title Act protections, and therefore did not need the consent of the native title holder before granting the Jervois pastoral lease on the cattle route in February 2017.
Its legal argument applied to the granting of mining titles as well as to storage routes.
However, on the eve of the Federal Court hearing, the government withdrew its argument and the court ruled in March 2020 that the pastoral lease on the cattle route was invalid.
This means that the pastor cannot interfere with the legal activities that the holders of the indigenous title undertake on the 60 km storage road.
“The court ruled in favor of the holders of indigenous titles, but if the government had succeeded in its argument, there would no longer have been the right to negotiate on mining on pastoral leases,” said the general manager of the CLC, Lesley Turner.
“This shows that it is in the interest of all parties that the development of pastoral leases only occurs with the support and consent of the holders of indigenous titles.
“An indigenous land use agreement is the gold standard for any development on pastoral leases and the government should have required the pastor to negotiate an indigenous land use agreement with the indigenous title holders,” a- he declared.
KGL Resources, which in 2011 acquired the Jervois Base Metal Project, an open-pit copper and silver mine project in the Jervois Range, negotiated an agreement with the native title holders in 2016, two years before the SIC does not apply for a native title.
The government approved the proposed $ 200 million mine in January.
Francine McCarthy, the CTC’s Indigenous Title Manager, said the determination recognizes the rights of Indigenous title holders in the Ankerente, Arntinarre, Arraperre, Artwele, Atnwarle, Ilparle, Immarkwe, Ltye and Thipatherre estate groups to hunt, gather and teach organize cultural activities and ceremonies in the area.
“This gives them the right to negotiate exploration and mining agreements, but unlike indigenous lands, they have no veto power,” she said.
Indigenous title holders will exercise their rights through their prescribed legal entity, the Ingkekure Aboriginal Corporation, which takes its name from the word Eastern Arrernte for eagle claw.
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The story of indigenous rights granted over nearly 5,000 square kilometers in the NT desert first appeared on Farm Online.