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News

SANTS welcomes Far West Coast Native Title determination

27-Nov-2013 |

SANTS welcomes Far West Coast Native Title determination

 

Native title rights for Far West Coast native title claimants will be recognised in a Federal Court hearing on 5 December at Lake Pidinga north of Yalata community.

The Far West Coast claim is the largest native title claim in the State of South Australia.

Justice John Mansfield will make a Consent Determination over claims from the Far West Coast claim group to recognise native title rights and interests in an area of approximately 80,000 square kilometres.

The determination will come after close to 18 years of struggle by Wirangu, Kokatha, Mirning and Anangu people of the Far West Coast to have their various native title claims determined.

Basil Coleman, Far West Coast Traditional Lands Association Chairperson, said “our people have fought and worked hard for a long time for this recognition and it provided us with the capacity to have greater control over our land and communities for future generations. It gives us credibility and respect in the business world and with governments, and ensured the preservation of our culture and land in accordance with our traditional law and practices.”

Osker Linde, the group’s solicitor, said “The fact that their culture is still alive and strong is a testament to elders past and present”.

They’ve had to claim their land back through the Federal Court, and after seventeen years of struggle, this recognition is an event of immense importance”, said Mr Linde.

The formerly overlapping claims were finally consolidated into one claim in January 2006, after ten years of mediation by ALRM Inc Native Title Unit, the National Native Title Tribunal and South Australian Native Title Services.

The determination will cover a vast area of land between the Western Australian Border and Tarcoola to the North and around Streaky Bay to the South.

It includes several Aboriginal lands trust holdings such as Yalata Community and Koonibba community, over which exclusive native title rights will be recognised.

The Consent Determination gives the group rights to access and camp on the area, enjoy the land, teach and conduct ceremonies and protect sites of significance on the area.

The hearing will be on Country at Pidinga Lake (Lake Ifould) between Yalata and Oak Valley communities.

Members of the claim group recall living near the Lake in the early part of last century and the Lake itself is a sacred site.    

For further information or interview please contact SANTS Communications Officer Kaliah Alice on 0421 770 387.

SANTS acknowledges that the land on which our office is based is the traditional lands for the Kaurna people and we respect their spiritual and cultural relationship with their country.
 
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SANTS acknowledges that the land on which our office is based is the traditional lands for the Kaurna people and we respect their spiritual and cultural relationship with their country.