Federal Attorney General Robert McClelland has announced the first Native Title claim to be resolved under the new Rudd government.
The court recognised of the Thalanyji peoples' native title rights in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Justice Anthony North of the Federal Court formally recognised that the Thalanyji hold the right to fish, hunt, gather, camp, and conduct ceremonies over their traditional country.
“The Rudd Government has made clear that it wants to see broader and more flexible approaches taken to resolve native title claims. The successful negotiation of the Thalanyji claim is a good example of this new, more positive approach,” McClelland said.
“Native title is not only an important way of recognising Indigenous Australians’ connection with the land, but it can also be used to help close-the-gap.”
”The Rudd Government will take every opportunity to work with state governments, claimants and other parties to achieve practical settlements that benefit all concerned and ensure they do not get bogged down in costly litigation,” McClelland.
The 18,000 square kilometre claim is located on the coast between Exmouth and Karratha approximately 1300 km north of Perth. All parties to the claim, including the Australian, State and local Governments, mining and fishing interest, agreed to the settlement.