The South West Native Title Settlement
On the 5th of July 2013 the Western Australian Government (WA Government) presented the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) with a final offer to resolve native title claims across the South West of Western Australia. SWALSC is the endorsed representative body under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cwth) (NTA) who represent these six native title groups (native title claimants).
The principle Noongar native title groups are the:
- Yued (Jurien, Moora, Lancelin, Gingin)
- Gnaala Karla Boodja (Mandurah, Bunbury, Donnybrook)
- South West Boojarah (Busselton, Dunsborough, Margaret River, Pemberton, Nannup)
- Wagyl Kaip (Katanning, Gnowangerup, Albany)
- Ballardong (York, Northam, Hyden, Kondinin)
- Whadjuk (Perth Metropolitan area)
The WA Government and Noongar representatives have been negotiating since 2009 and the 2013 final offer is the most comprehensive native title proposal since the 1992 High Court Mabo decision. Read the media release Noongar People Recognised in Historic offer.
The WA Government’s Offer
The WA Government’s final offer includes:
- Recognition through an act of Parliament - formal recognition of the Noongar people as the Traditional Owners of the South West;
- Noongar Boodja Trust - the establishment of a perpetual trust into which the WA Government would make funding instalments of $50 million yearly for 12 years;
- Noongar Regional Corporations - the establishment of six Noongar Regional Corporations and one Central Services Corporation, plus office accommodation with funding support of $10 million yearly for 12 years;
- Noongar Land Estate - the transfer of up to 320,000 hectares of Crown land in multiple tenure parcels into the Noongar Boodja Trust;
- Care for the South West Conservation Estate - a partnership between the Department of Parks and Wildlife and the Noongar Regional Corporations for the ongoing care of the South West Conservation Estate;
- Noongar Heritage Regime - improved processes for the preservation of heritage and a standard Noongar heritage agreement applying to land development and related activities;
- Noongar Home Ownership Scheme - an enhanced and targeted housing program coordinated by the Department of Housing;
- Noongar Economic Participation - improved opportunities for Noongar economic participation in the South West and increased job opportunities; and
- Noongar Cultural Centre - support for the establishment of a Cultural Centre for the Noongar people.
Negotiation Update - July 2014
Negotiation between the West Australian Government and the six principal native title claim groups in the South West is nearing conclusion. The State Government has made its final offer on all components of the agreement (e.g. joint management of national parks, Crown land transfers, customary access to UCL and unmanaged reserves, access to water reserves, the transfer of public housing assets, cultural heritage management, all financial terms).
The last details of the overarching Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) and the Noongar Boodja Trust Deed will be completed in July. This opens the way for the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) to schedule ILUA authorisation meetings with each of the six native title claim groups by the close of 2014.
Therefore, it is nearing a stage whereby the Noongar native title claim groups must decide if they wish to finalise an agreement with the WA Government. If an agreement is not reached the native title claims will ultimately be referred to trial before the Federal Court.
The following 'Agreed to in-principle' documents provide a useful background to the various facets being negotiated as per the original intentions agreed to in the 2009 'Heads of Agreement'.
Heads of Agreement Documents - Agreed to In-Principle
To learn more about the Settlement please read:
Any questions please contact the South West Settlement team:
Postal Address: Land, Approvals and Native Title Unit, Locked Bag 3001, West Perth WA 6872
Phone: (08) 6552 6191
Fax: (08) 6552 5339
Map of the South West Settlement - Native Title Applications
View a high resolution version of the South West Settlement Map (JPG)