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South West Native Title Settlement

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The South West Native Title Settlement (the Settlement) is the most comprehensive native title agreement proposed in Australian history, comprising the full and final resolution of all native title claims in the South West of Western Australia, in exchange for a package of benefits. The historic agreement involves around 30,000 Noongar people and covers approximately 200,000 square kilometres. The Settlement represents a significant investment in both the Noongar community and the shared future of the Western Australian community as a whole.

The Settlement will provide the Noongar people with long-term benefits and opportunities for developing Noongar interests.  The Settlement will also provide an opportunity for the WA Government to work in partnership with the Noongar people to improve economic, social and cultural outcomes for the Noongar community. In addition the Settlement will deliver long term cost benefits to the WA Government and land users through the resolution of native title and the removal of all 'future act' obligations across the south west. Learn more about the Settlement Package.

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Native Title Agreement Groups

The Noongar Native Title Agreement Groups are:

  • 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)

For maps of the Native Title Agreement Group Areas please see the Indigenous Land Use Agreement Maps and Boundary Descriptions relating to the 6 Noongar Native Title Agreement Groups.

The Native Title Agreement Groups, facilitated by the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council (SWALSC) are currently working towards the transparent and accountable establishment of the Noongar Corporations.  


Status of the Settlement

Over a year ago (8 June 2015) the Government of Western Australia executed (signed) the 6 South West Native Title Settlement Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) with the Native Title Agreement Groups. Although work has commenced on many aspects of the Settlement the execution does not signal the commencement of the Settlement as conclusive registration and other matters must first be completed.

In preparation for the commencement of the Settlement the following significant milestones have been achieved:


Application of the Native Title Act

Until the Settlement commences the Native Title Act 1993 still applies to all land users planning activities in the ILUA Area, and the Aboriginal Heritage Act applies at all times regardless of the commencement of the Settlement.

If a proposed activity (planned land use) may affect Aboriginal heritage you should contact the Department of Aboriginal Affairs in the first instance, you may also be interested to learn more about the Noongar Standard Heritage Agreement and the Aboriginal Heritage Due Diligence Guidelines.

WA Government agencies and officers planning activities that may affect native title rights and interests, in the ILUA Area, prior to the commencement of the Settlement should contact the South West Settlement Implementation Unit.


South West Native Title Settlement - Timeline

Date ​Event
8 ​June 2015

​Execution of the ILUAs.

Commencement of the Noongar Standard Heritage Agreement.

​July 2015

​SWALSC commenced work toward establishing the Noongar Corporations and work commenced towards selection of the Noongar Boodja Trustee. 

​16 September 2015 - 16 December 2015

​Registration process for the six authorised ILUAs commenced, with a three month notification period during which objections can be lodged.  The notification period ended on 16 December 2015.

​October 2015

​The Noongar Recognition Bill was introduced to the Parliament of Western Australia.

​November 2015

​The Land Administration (South West Native Title Settlement) Bill 2015 was introduced to the Parliament of Western Australia.

16 ​​December 2015 - onwards

​Notification period ends. The Native Title Registrar commences consideration of the 107 valid objections lodged by 25 objectors, to the registration of the ILUAs.

​December 2015

​Four High Court applications commenced in December against the Native Title Registrar and the parties to the ILUAs on the basis that all four ILUAs were not ILUAs as defined by the NTA.

​February 2016

​The High Court applications were remitted to the Full Federal Court in February 2016

​April 2016

​WA Government and the SWALSC provide submissions to the Native Title Registrar in response to the objections lodged.

​May 2016

Noongar Boodja Trustee to be selected (Trustee cannot be formally appointed  until after the ILUAs are registered)

​6 June 2016

​On WA Day the Premier announced the proclamation of the: 

  • Noongar (Koorah, Nitja, Boordahwan) (Past, Present, Future) Recognition Act 2016; and

  • Land Administration (South West Native Title Settlement) Act 2016.

​7 June 2016​Gazettal of Water By-Laws:


  • Country Areas Water Supply Amendment By-laws 2016;
  • Metropolitan Water Supply, Sewerage and Drainage Amendment By-Laws 2016
​27 June 2016

Announcement of the successful Trustee company – Perpetual Trustee Company Limited will be the initial Trustee for the Noongar Boodja Trust.

The Trustee will only be appointed at the ‘Trust effective date’ which will be after conclusive registration of the ILUAs.

​July 2016

​The Full Court of the Federal Court schedules the hearing dates for late July.

​October 2016

​SWALSC releases the Transition Programs for both the Central Services Corporation and the 6 Regional Corporations.


By mid-2017

Earliest possible commencement of South West Native Title Settlement with the establishment of the Noongar Boodja Trust, followed by the subsequent appointment of the six Noongar Regional Corporations.