Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, today welcomed the Yarrangi Riwi Yoowarni Gooniyandi native title determination for the Kimberley region of Western Australia, delivered at a hearing of the Federal Court of Australia in Perth.
“The people of Yarrangi Riwi Yoowarni Gooniyandi have a deep connection to their country, caring for traditional and sacred sites and passing on stories and knowledge of country to their children and grandchildren,” Minister Scullion said.
“Recognising the rights of Indigenous owners to these lands is particularly important because of the cultural and religious significance of land to Indigenous customs, law and society.
“Today’s hearing was important because it extends the area previously determined in 2013 for the Gooniyandi Combined determinations. This determination covers a vast area of 2396 square kilometres of land east of Fitzroy Crossing.
“The Yarrangi Riwi Yoowarni Gooniyandi lands will be managed by the Prescribed Body Corporate (PBC) of the Gooniyandi Aboriginal Corporation.
“The Turnbull-Joyce Coalition recognises that Government must support better economic outcomes from native title and has allocated for the first time funding of more than $20 million directly for native title holders.
“I was pleased to provide almost $200,000 for the Gooniyandi Aboriginal Corporation in 2015 to help it create economic development opportunities for native title holders.
“Native title determinations aren’t just about recognising and honouring the traditional owners of our land; the benefits go much further. The PBC is building an office for Gooniyandi staff and plans to build additions to include space for a community meeting area, a language space and an office for rangers, creating long-term employment opportunities for locals.”
Minister Scullion congratulated the Yarrangi Riwi Yoowarni Gooniyandi people and their legal representative, the Kimberley Land Council.