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The Ngalakan People v Northern Territory of Australia (unreported, FCA) (7 February 2002)

Category: Case Law
Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 7 February 2002
Sub Category:Litigated Determination
Place:Roper River, southeast of Katherine
State/Country:Northern Territory, Australia
Urapunga Township, Roper River, southeast of Katherine.
Legal Status: Registered on the National Native Title Tribunal R
Legal Reference: Federal Court file no: NTD6003/96; National Native
Alternative Names:
  • Urapunga Township determination
  • Urapunga Native Title Determination
  • Summary Information:
    The Ngalakan People v Northern Territory (unreported, FCA) (7 February 2002)

    Between: The Ngalakan People (APPLICANTS) AND
    Northern Territory of Australia (RESPONDENT)

    Judge: O'Loughlin J

    Determination: Native title exists in parts of the determination area.
    Detailed Information:
    This determination of native title resulted from the application of the Ngalakan People regarding a small area of land on the southern bank of the Roper River, approximately 320 kilometres south of Katherine. The application was originally submitted to the National Native Title Tribunal in September 1995. The claim area forms part of the larger Ngalakan land.

    The claim was for exclusive rights as against the whole world with respect to possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of the claim area (although failing recognition of exclusivity, non-exclusive native title rights and interests were sought in the alternative).

    The Court was satistfied that it was appropriate to recognise exclusivity. Native title rights to minerals (including petroleum) were not claimed. The right to use and enjoy natural resources within the claim area, including the right to hunt fauna and gather flora, as well as the right to control the use and enjoyment by others of such resources, was claimed. The respondent argued that while there was no legislative constraint on the traditional use of the claim area for hunting, fishing and food gathering other than for sale, that any exclusive rights to flora and fauna had been extinguished by legislation. While the Court disagreed with this, it nevertheless determined that the site of a billabong within the claim area which only contained water from time to time, (as opposed to permananent water resources), could not be a resource to which native title might attach.

    The Court concluded that the native title rights and interests recognised conferred possession, occupation, use and enjoyment to the exclusion of all others.

    The reasons for the decisions are set out in The Ngalakan People v Northern Territory of Australia [2001] FCA 654 (5 June 2001).

    Related Entries

    Organisation
  • Northern Territory of Australia - Respondent
  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • Federal Court of Australia
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • People
  • Ngalakan People - Native Title Claimant

  • References

    Case Law
    Federal Court of Australia (2001) The Ngalakan People v Northern Territory of Australia [2001] FCA 654
    Resource
    National Native Title Tribunal (2002) Native Title Determination Summary: Urapunga

    Documents

    Map
    The Ngalakan People v Northern Territory of Australia (unreported, FCA) (7 February 2002) Map - ( Image | PDF | Thumbnail)

    Glossary

    Native Title (Australia) | Litigated Determination (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia)

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