Narwietooma traditional owners

Native title holders of two pastoral properties near Alice Springs have celebrated native title consent determinations at special sittings of the Federal Court at two remote central Australian outstations.

Justice Rangiah handed down two non-exclusive native title consent determinations at Cockatoo Creek and M’Bunghara outstations last week.

At a sitting at Cockatoo Creek east of Yuendumu on 16 June he handed down a determination of native title over the whole of Mt Denison Station, more than 2,700 square kilometres.

The determination at M’Bunghara outstation, one day earlier, was in relation to an area covering the whole of Narwietooma Station, almost 2,600 square kilometres, and a portion of the Dashwood Creek where the claimants proved exclusive possession.

CLC chair Francis Kelly said he hopes the Mt Denison determination will improve the relationship between the traditional owners and the pastoral lease holders.

“It will make it easier to share the country,” he said.

Mr Kelly said the court’s determinations recognise the groups’ rights to hunt, gather and fish, as well as to conduct cultural activities and ceremonies on their land.

“It also gives them the right to negotiate about exploration and mining.”

These rights will co-exist with the Mt Denison and Narwietooma pastoral leases, which will continue to be run as cattle stations.

The Mt Denison native title holders belong to the Rrkwer [YURR-koo-roo]/Mamp [Mamp]/Arrwek [YARR-oo-koo], Yinjirrpikurlangu [Yin-JEER-pick-er-lung], Janyinpartinya [Jan-YIN-part-in-ya], Yanarilyi [Yan-yar-ILL-yee] and Ngarliyikirlangu [NAR-li-ker-lung] landholding groups.

Their native title rights and interests will be held by their Registered Native Title Body Corporate, the Mt Denison Aboriginal Corporation.

The Narwietooma native title holders are Western Arrernte and Anmatyerr [un-MAT-jara] speakers and belong to the Imperlknge [Ee-MALK-na], Urlatherrke [Ula-TER-ka], Parerrule [Pare-RU-la], Yaperlpe [Ja-PAL-pa], Urlampe [Oo-LAM-ba], Lwekerreye [Loo-KA-ria] and Ilewerr [Iloo-AA-ra] landholding groups and people who have rights and interests in the area of land known as Kwerlerrethe [KOO-lara-ta].

The Wala Aboriginal Corporation, whose members are the common law native title holders, will become the Registered Native Title Body Corporate that holds their rights and interests.