The State of Western Australia has offered a $1.3 billion
package to the Noongar People in return for settling all native
title claims fully and finally across Perth and the South West of
Premier Barnett announced the key elements of the offer over the
Effect on native title and heritage matters
Companies interested in the South West area should watch this
space. If the offer is accepted, all native title rights to land in
the South West will be extinguished – removing the need for
proponents to enter compensation agreements or participate in
native title claim litigation.
The package also provides for an aboriginal cultural heritage
management regime to be developed with the aim of streamlining
Aboriginal Heritage Act 1978 (WA) compliance
The offer does not alter the current environmental regime for
Crown Land transfer
The package includes a number of benefits for the Noongar
community, notably the transfer of up to 320,000 hectares of Crown
land to the Noongar Boodja Trust.
No privately owned freehold land or currently leased Crown land
will be affected by this transfer.
The State will continue to hold mineral rights over the
transferred land so exploration opportunities remain.
Other key benefits and negotiation timeframes
Other key benefits of the package include:
State funded instalments of $50 million a year (indexed) over
12 years into the perpetual Noongar Boodja Trust;
State funding of $10 million a year over 12 years to develop
six regional Noongar corporations;
co-operative management of South West national parks and
reserves with the Department of Parks and Wildlife; as well as
home ownership and increased economic participation
The Noongar community have six months to consider the offer. If
accepted, the State hopes to begin implementing the agreement in
Adopting a Canadian approach?
If the State's proposal is accepted it is an interesting
precedent for settling native title claims in Australia, arguably
adopting elements of the Canadian regime by dealing with native
title claims in their entirety and, in doing so, effectively
placing a value on such rights.
Will any other groups be offered or be attracted to similar
Whether or not this becomes part of the jurisprudence or a
precedent for determining compensation for the extinguishment of
native title also remains to be seen.
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