The Federal Court has today recognised native title for the Kulyakartu people in the East Pilbara region of Western Australia.
Lodged in 2005, the Kulyakartu claim was resolved at an on-country hearing of the Federal Court of Australia.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said the Kulyakartu determination covered an area of approximately 3550 square kilometres in remote Western Australia. It is surrounded by the Nyangumarta, Ngurrara and Martu determination areas.
“Connection to land is of central importance to First Australians. The recognition of Indigenous rights in land and waters is fundamental to the process of reconciliation and is why the Coalition Government is committed to ensuring native title determinations are reached,” Minister Scullion said.
“The land covered by this determination continues to be a cultural and spiritual asset the Kulyakartu people. Recognising the rights of Indigenous owners to this land is particularly important because of the cultural and religious significance of land to Indigenous customs, law and society.
“The people of Kulyakartu 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, ensuring their history lives on in the next generation.”
Minister Scullion congratulated the Kulyakartu people and their legal representative, the Central Desert Native Title Services.
“I look forward to working with the native title holders across the country to maximise economic development potential for their community,” Minister Scullion said.
“The Coalition Government has allocated, for the first time, a specific fund of $20.4 million to help native title holders engage in commercial development and better use their native title rights and interests.”