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Western Desert repeat claim scheduled

November 1994

Land Rights News Vol 2, No 34 Nov 1994.

The substantive rehearing on the Western Desert (Repeat) Claim has been scheduled to be heard on the claim area late this month.

The original Western Desert Land Claim was heard in May 1989 with the Land Commissioner handing down his findings in September 1990.

The Commissioner did not recommend two distinct blocks of the original claim for grant. The remoteness and difficult access to the area hampered research during the original claim.

The claim area is located in the Tanami region near the Western Australian border. The CLC carried out further research following the Commissioner's findings, focusing mainly on the southern part of the land claim area (not granted).

The purchase and subsequent claiming of Tanami Downs Pastoral lease as well as new tracks has assisted with research.

The Land Commissioner took submissions from the Central Land Council (on behalf of the claimants) on 19 September 1994 in Alice Springs.

He accepted that there was now new material that could be relied on and that it was likely, given the submissions made by the CLC, that on a substantive rehearing of the matter the claimants might be found to be the traditional owners of the area.