The 'Whitemail’ which poses as justice in the back-to-front land of Oz

It looks like pure Whitemail. Dancing to the tune set by the thieves – limited recognition of your rights in your own country in return for surrender of major parts (especially those relating to real wealth – note that native title already excludes rights to minerals). Tennant Creek (Northern Territory) native title determination – HREOC release states:

“In this case, the Patta Warumungu have considered wider community issues in the negotiations and agreed to surrender native title in parts of the town to enable future residential and commercial development.”

“The consent determination delivered yesterday recognises the Patta Warumungu’s non-exclusive native title rights to live on, travel over and access the land as well as hunt, gather and take natural resources from the land and conduct ceremonies and other traditional practices upon it.”

“The Patta Warumungu people have also signed an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with the NT Government and the Central Land Council. The ILUA sets out how the past extinguishment and present surrender of native title rights is to be compensated, and confirms that negotiations in good faith will commence over the creation of a park over the Devil’s Pebbles.”

What’s the bet that the details of compensation for past extinguishment and present surrender of native title leave Warumungu people at a great disadvantage vis-a-vis Anglo-Australian interests? There are no Wirnkarra (“Dreaming”) free zones in Warumungu country. We need to see the detail of the ILUA.

****************************************
HREOC Mailing List Service
******************************************
Indigenous Issues
******************************************
Traditional owners congratulated on land claim in NT
******************************************
4 September 2007

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner Tom Calma has congratulated the Patta Warumungu people who successfully achieved native title recognition yesterday over 25 hectares of land in Tennant Creek.

Commissioner Calma said the outcome for the Patta Warumungu was particularly important because it was the first native title determination in the Northern Territory reached through negotiated agreement rather than litigation.

“This recognition of non-exclusive native title rights is a comprehensive agreement that brought together the traditional owners and the Northern Territory Government,” Commissioner Calma said.

“Negotiation is of paramount importance for Indigenous people to play an active role and make informed decisions about their land and this case demonstrates what can be achieved when the parties spend the time to sit and talk about the future.

“In this case, the Patta Warumungu have considered wider community issues in the negotiations and agreed to surrender native title in parts of the town to enable future residential and commercial development.”

The consent determination delivered yesterday recognises the Patta Warumungu’s non-exclusive native title rights to live on, travel over and access the land as well as hunt, gather and take natural resources from the land and conduct ceremonies and other traditional practices upon it.

The Patta Warumungu people have also signed an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with the NT Government and the Central Land Council. The ILUA sets out how the past extinguishment and present surrender of native title rights is to be compensated, and confirms that negotiations in good faith will commence over the creation of a park over the Devil’s Pebbles.

The determination and ILUA culminate the Patta Warumungu’s native title applications which commenced in 1999. The applications were referred to the National Native Title Tribunal for mediation in 2004 and a new ‘whole-of-town’ application replaced four earlier applications in 2006.

“It is not just the recognition of traditional owners’ native title rights that is to be welcomed here, but also the fact that we can see how mediation approached with goodwill can deliver a win-win result for all involved,” Mr Calma said.

Commissioner Calma said the Patta Warumungu people’s ILUA was one of hundreds reached around the country where traditional owners, land councils, governments and the private sector were achieving positive outcomes based on negotiating native title issues rather than heading for the courts.

“ILUAs have, among other things, provided commitments to Indigenous employment, the establishment of cultural centres and raised the standards for increased Indigenous participation in the management of national parks throughout Australia,” Commissioner Calma said.

Media contact: Louise McDermott 02 9284 9851 or 0419 258 597