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Ooratippra native title consent determination

Posted: Thu, May 05, 2011

A native title consent determination for exclusive possession of Ooratippra pastoral lease will be handed down by the Federal Court tomorrow at Ooratippra pastoral lease some 300 kilometres north west of Alice Springs.

Ooratippra is a pastoral lease owned by the Ooratippra Aboriginal Corporation and situated on the Sandover Highway covering 4,292 square kilometres.

The claim is lodged over the whole of the station and also includes the Irretety Community Living Area, an area of eight square kilometres held by Irretety Aboriginal Corporation and located within the station boundaries. Community Living Areas were small areas able to be established for Aboriginal people with historical residential association with stations who were unable to claim their traditional land back under the Land Rights Act.

As Ooratippra PPL and Irretety CLA are owned by native title holders, they are able to claim exclusive possession ("to the exclusion of all others") under the Native Title Act, rather than non-exclusive rights which co-exist with pastoral lessees.

The recognition of native title rights secures their traditional rights, and in particular, the right to exclusive possession of the land as well as the right to negotiate over any future acts like mining.

The Indigenous Land Corporation purchased Ooratippra PPL in May 1999 after years of lobbying by native title holders who wanted title to their own land and to be able run their own cattle business on their own country.

Ooratippra can run up to 4000 head of cattle and will continue to be leased out to a neighbouring land owner who will, over time, assist in the re-establishment of a locally managed cattle herd.

Title was transferred to the Ooratippra Aboriginal Corporation in October 2000. In 2001, CLC lodged the Ooratippra native title application on behalf of native title holders.

After extensive anthropological research the original claim was amended in February 2011. The claim is on behalf of several hundred Aboriginal people: the Irrkwal, Irrmarn, Ntewerrek, Aharreng, Arrty/Amatyerr and Areyn estate groups of the Alyawarr language group.

The native title consent determination for exclusive possession over Ooratippra PPL will be  held at Oil Bore on Ooratippra PPL on 5th May by the Federal Court of Australia.