SANTS News – December 2022

Monthly updates and insights on the latest developments in native title.

Wirangu No. 2 Part A Consent Determination

On the 8th December 2022, a native title claim first made by the Wirangu people more than 25 years ago on the 28th August 1997, was partially finalised with a consent determination at Streaky Bay on the Eyre Peninsula.

The Federal Court’s handing down of the consent determination was a historic day, recognising the Wirangu people as the Traditional Owners of their Country from Acraman Creek in the North to Port Kenny in the South and inland to the Flinders Highway.

SA Native Title Services would like to congratulate the named applicants Caroline Wilson, Cindy Morrison, Barry Dean (Jack) Johncock, Elizabeth Pool, Neville Miller, and Kenneth Wilson, who have fought hard on behalf of Wirangu people to reach their consent determination.

We pay our respects to applicants who passed away before they could be recognised.

In this episode of Aboriginal Way you will hear recordings from the Federal Court’s official proceedings on the day and interviews with key people involved.

Listen here

Voice to Parliament Submission  

SANTS held a forum with native title representatives in December to discuss the draft legislation for a State-based First Nations Voice to Parliament. While we support the proposal for a Voice to Parliament, we are concerned the draft Bill will create new institutions, rather than invest in and strengthen the existing First Nations recognised under the Native Title Act for over 30 years. 

We’ve taken action by writing an open letter to the Commissioner for First Nations Voice, Dale Agius, and Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Kyam Maher, which is currently being considered and signed by Chairs, Vice Chairs, and CEOs of native title corporations across South Australia. Please email or call 1800 010 360 if you have any questions.

Our submission to the Commissioner requests a review of the proposed model for a Voice to Parliament to ensure it:

•    Recognises the representative position of native title groups as First Nations bodies;
•   Utilises native title and statutory land rights bodies (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Land Rights Act and Maralinga Tjarutja Land Rights Act) as the building blocks of the Local and State Voice;
•    Establishes regions for the Local Voice based on native title and statutory land rights boundaries (with say 4-5 native title groups per region);
•    Encourages and supports local decision-making to elect or appoint representatives to Local and State Voice, including through considering existing election processes;
•    Is securely and well-resourced including with staffing independent of Government. 

Riverland rangers monitor cultural heritage sites as flood peak approaches

At least 700 cultural heritage sites are in the direct pathway of the flooding in South Australia’s Riverland as the River Murray nears its peak.

The flood was recently upgraded by the Bureau of Meteorology to a major flood event, with the peak expected to reach the first town on the South Australian leg of the river by Boxing Day.

River Murray and Mallee Aboriginal Corporation (RMMAC) Ranger Coordinator, Fiona Giles, said rangers had their eyes on a number of important sites across the region, including burial grounds, scar trees and rock shelters.

Read the full ABC story

Barngarla receive a commendation at Premier’s Energy Awards

Congratulations to the Barngarla Determination Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC for their commendation in the community category at the SA Premier’s Energy Awards for their Yoorndoo Ilga Solar Project. The award recognised the native title holder’s involvement in facilitating the largest solar farm under construction on the Eyre Peninsula. 

Centre for First Nations Cultures review panel 

In November, the SA Government launched a review into Tarrkari – Centre for First Nations Cultures project after a cost blowout

The former Liberal Government allocated $200 million for the First Nations cultural centre to be built at Lot Fourteen. Premier Peter Malinauskas says that money will only
deliver a centre of state-level significance, rather than the international-level project that had been envisaged.

Ken Wyatt AM, Bob Carr and Carolyn Hewson AO were appointed by the Premier to conduct an independent review of the project. The review panel convened for its first meeting at the beginning of December and is scheduled to take 3-4 months to complete their review.

Sculptures honour Aboriginal soldiers past and present

Past and present Aboriginal soldiers have been honoured with four new sculptures designed by Kaurna Yerta Aboriginal Corporation Director, Tania Taylor.

The artwork has been permanently installed as part of the Goodwood, Springbank and Daws Road intersection upgrade to recognise Aboriginal heritage.

Read the full ABC story