Back to search results

printable versionPrint this page

Brown (on behalf of the Ngarla People) v State of Western Australia [2007] FCA 1025

Category: Agreement
Binomial Name: Federal Court of Australia
Date: 30 May 2007
Sub Category:Consent Determination (Native Title Act)
Place:In the vicinity of Port Hedland, north west Western Australia
State/Country:Western Australia, Australia
Legal Status: Registered on the National Native Title Tribunal Register
Legal Reference: Federal Court no. WAD 6185 OF 1998; WAD 0077 OF 2005; WAD 6003 OF 2003; National Native Title Tribunal No. WC99/26
Subject Matter:Access | Cultural Heritage | Future Act | Land Use | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests
Summary Information:
Brown (on behalf of the Ngarla People) v State of Western Australia [2007] FCA 1025

Between: Alexander Brown, Jeffrey Brown, Clinton Coke and Charlie Coppin on behalf of the Ngarla People (Ngarla) (APPLICANT)


Commonwealth of Australia (FIRST RESPONDENT)

State of Western Australia

Yamatji Marlpa Barna Baba Maaja Aboriginal Corporation

BHP Billiton Minerals Pty Ltd, Boral Contracting Pty Ltd, Boral Resources (WA) Ltd, Dampier Salt Limited, Itochu Minerals & Energy of Australia Pty Ltd and Mitsui Iron Ore Development Corporation Pty Ltd

Anthony Baptist Bettini, David Francis Bettini
Ethel Marjorie Bettini, John Joseph Bettini, Mark John Bettini, Mary Eleanor Bettini, Paul Dominic Bettini, Graeme Edward Rogers and Judith Anne Rogers

Westralian Shells

Peter John Fullarton, Stephen Charles Mcwhirter, Robert Tucker, Western Australian Fishing Industry Council (Inc)

Lesley P Ignoti, Peter Alwyn Ignoti, Russell Adrian Ignoti, Perth Shell Distributors

Exmouth Pearls Pty Ltd

Telstra Corporation Limited

Judge: Bennett J
Where: De Grey Station, Western Australia
Determination: Non-exclusive native title rights exist in part of the determination area.
Detailed Information:
On 30 May 2007 Bennett J made orders relating to three different native title applications. These are the Ngarla application, filed on 28 July 1997, the Ngarla #2 application, filed 7 April 2005 and the Njarmal #10 application, filed 25 May 2000.

The area covered by the determination does not include determination Area B - over this area it was agreed that no determination be made at this time, and that mediation over this area continue; and the unclaimed areas as described in the Third Schedule. Over these areas it has been agreed that native title has been extinguished.

The final determination covers approximately 4,500 square kilometres.

By agreement, the parties have established that the Ngarla people hold native title rights over the areas outlined above:
  • to access, and to camp on the land and waters;
  • to take flora, fauna, fish, water and other traditional resources (excluding minerals) from the land and waters;
  • to engage in ritual and ceremony; and
  • to care for, maintain and protect from physical harm, particular sites and areas of significance to the common law holders.

    These rights are exercisable for domestic, personal and non-commercial communal purposes and do not confer:
  • exclusive possession rights; nor
  • a right to control the access of others to the land and waters of Determination Area A.

    The relationship between the native title rights and interests described in the determination and the other rights and interests is that:
    (a) to the extent that any of the other rights and interests is inconsistent with native title rights, the native title rights and interests continue to exist in their entirety, but have no effect in relation to the other rights and interests to the extent of the inconsistency; and
    (b) the existence and exercise of the native title rights and interests do not prevent the doing of any activity required or permitted to be done, as well as that those other rights and interests prevail over native title rights but do not extinguish them. (Determination, para 10)

    These native title rights and interests are held on trust by the Wanparta Aboriginal Corporation, a Prescribed Body Corporate for the purposes of Section 56 of the Native Title Act (1993) (Determination, para 4).

    This determination is the second for 2007 to cover areas in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It is hoped the determination will 'set a precedent for several others that are scheduled in the next financial year' (NNTT Media Release). The National Native Title Tribunal member Dan O'Shea, who facilitated the mediation, stated that it appears possible that there will be 'resolution of all matters in the Pilbara in the foreseeable future. (NNTT Media Release)

  • Related Entries

  • Ngarla Pastoral Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Brown (on behalf of the Ngarla People) v State of Western Australia (No 3) [2010] FCA 859
  • Pardoo Beef Corporation Irrigated Agriculture Project Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Organisation
  • State of Western Australia - Respondent
  • Commonwealth of Australia - Respondent
  • Yamatji Marlpa Barna Baba Maaja Land and Sea Council - Respondent
  • BHP Billiton - Respondent
  • Boral Resources (WA) Ltd - Respondent
  • Telstra Corporation Limited - Respondent
  • Federal Court of Australia
  • Pilbara Native Title Service
  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • Itochu Corporation - Respondent
  • Perth Shell Distributors - Respondent
  • Exmouth Pearls Pty Ltd - Respondent
  • Wanparta Aboriginal Corporation
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • People
  • Ngarla People
  • Alexander Brown, Jeffrey Brown, Clinton Coke and Charlie Coppin on behalf of the Ngarla People - Native Title Claimant
  • Anthony Baptist Bettini et al - Respondent

  • Documents

    Brown (on behalf of the Ngarla People) v State of Western Australia - ( PDF)


    Aboriginal Corporation (Australia) | Claimant Application (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Federal Government | Extinguishment (Australia) | Consent Determination (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) (Australia) | Native Title Determination (Australia) | Native Title Claimants (registered) (Australia) | Native Title Representative Body (NTRB) (Australia)

    Top of page

    Was this useful? Click here to fill in the ATNS survey