Native title holders are celebrating the recognition of their rights on the western side of Pine Hill Station, north of Alice Springs.
Five Anmatyerr-speaking land holding groups will join Justice John Reeves tomorrow at Arden’s Soak Bore on Pine Hill Station at 11 am for a special sitting of the Federal Court, as he hands down a consent determination over an area of more than 1500 square kilometres.
The determination complements an earlier native title declaration over the east of the pastoral lease.
Many native title holders from the Alherramp [AL-er-ramp], Arempey [ERR-am-pie], Lyelyepwenty [LEEL-a-punge], Ngwenyenp [NGOON-ya-pa] and Tywerl [CHU-la] groups grew up and worked on the station.
“I worked for a long time on Pine Hill. I branded bullocks and broke horses,” said Leslie Stafford Pwerrerl.
Peter Cole Peltharr said old people told them “the right stories”.
“Old Bruce Campbell, he was a cook who told us stories about country and I now pass on those stories to young people,” Mr Cole said.
The native title holders hunt, visit rock holes and practice ceremony on the station, often in the company of the Central Land Council’s Anmatyerr rangers in Ti Tree.
“We feel good when we go to country,” said Amy Campbell Peltharr.
“When the CLC rangers come to help us we go to places we did not go to for a long time.”
“I teach young people about important places and to do ceremony the right way,” Mr Stafford said.
“I sometimes go to Pine Hill and take young girls to show them how to get bush tucker and medicine,” Daisy Campbell Peltharr added.
“I like to camp out at Pine Hill and look for bean tree seeds with my younger sister.”
Francine McCarthy, the CLC’s manager of native title, said the determination recognises these rights under Australian law.
“It also gives the native title holders the right to negotiate about mining and exploration proposals, but not to veto them,” Ms McCarthy said.
She said some of the native title holders want to return to Anyungyunba [AN- oon-ung-un-pa] outstation, across the river from the Pine Hill homestead.
“From tomorrow, native title will be recognised over the whole station,” she said.
“The determination for the eastern side of Pine Hill was made in August 2009 and a small portion was included in the Nolan Bore native title determination in 2017.”
That application was filed in response to plans of the Pine Hill Pastoral Company to grow grapes on the property.
The NT government bought the lease in 2000 to secure horticultural development over the Ti Tree Basin and the lease was then sold back to the pastoralist in 2008.
The CLC filed the Pine Hill (west) application in September 2016.
The applicants’ prescribed body corporate, the Pine Hill West Aboriginal Corporation, will hold the native title rights.