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Kurungal land owners celebrate legal recognition of their land after almost two decades

Dec 04, 2015

Kurungal land owners celebrate legal recognition of their land after almost two decades
Tuesday 2nd December 2015 marked a significant day for Kurungal land owners who celebrated legal recognition of their land.

For members of the Kurungal claim, the determination has been a long time coming,” said Kimberley Land Council Deputy CEO Tyronne Garstone. 

“It is a testament to their determination and courage. To have waited for so long has been challenging, but today Kurungal people will look as much to the future as to the past.” 

The determination is expected to lead directly to an Indigenous Land Use Agreement between the Traditional Owners and the leases of Christmas Creek pastoral station.

“Traditional Owners will enter into an agreement with the pastoral leaseholders that will secure access to the station, allowing people to exercise their Native Title rights and interests, whilst allowing the ongoing operation at the station,” said Mr Garstone.

The Traditional Owners and the pastoralists sat together, and in good faith negotiated this agreement. “This is a great example of parties working together under the Native Title system, to achieve outcomes that everyone can be happy with.” 

“As one of the Kimberley’s last ‘long standing’ Native Title claims, today’s determination of the Kurungal claim marks a significant point in the Native Title process in the region. It will bring the total area where Native Title has been recognised to more than 80% of the Kimberley.

“Native Title can be a long and difficult process, but we are increasingly seeing claims determined by consent between the different parties. This is delivering cultural, social and economic benefits,” said Mr Garstone. 

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