Joint Media Release with Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson MP
Two native title claims covering more than 13,600 square kilometres in the Goldfields region of Western Australia have been finalised today with the Federal Court recognising native title on Tjiwarl country.
The Tjiwarl and Tjiwarl #2 determinations were delivered at a hearing of the Federal Court of Australia at Ngurlu Wiriwiri (Jones Creek), approximately 40 kilometres north of Leinster.
The determinations take in land and waters situated between the towns of Wiluna to the north and Leonora to the south.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said today’s determination recognised what traditional owners had always known – that this is Aboriginal land.
“The determination of native title ensures the Tjiwarl people are not only recognised as the traditional owners of their land and waters, it ensures native title holders can manage their own land and pursue the economic development opportunities that they want to,” Minister Scullion said.
“The recognition ensures traditional owners are front and centre on the future of their land – land that will be fundamental to the preservation of culture and job and wealth creation for many generations to come.
“The Tjiwarl determinations will be managed by a Prescribed Body Corporate to be established by the community.”
Member for O’Connor, Rick Wilson, said he was pleased the native title holders had been recognised following many years of work.
“I look forward to working with the Tjiwarl people to see what opportunities they wish to pursue and to seeing traditional owners make decisions about their land,” Mr Wilson said.
The Coalition Government recognises the importance of working with native title holders. That is why we have allocated more than $20 million to directly support traditional owners who want to pursue economic development – the first time this funding has been directly allocated for traditional owners.
Minister Scullion and Mr Wilson congratulated the Tjiwarl people and their legal representative, Central Desert Native Title Services, for securing today’s determinations.