Aboriginal timeline: Land & land rights

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1997

  1. In response to the Wik decision the federal government under Howard develops its 10 Point Plan as the basis for amending the Native Title Act 1993. These amendments are introduced in the spring session (September 1997) of the Commonwealth parliament.

1998

  1. The federal government makes amendments to the Native Title Act which reduce protection of native title.

2006

  1. A federal court ruling grants one of the nation’s largest native title claims to Perth and its surrounds (three times the size of Tasmania) to the Noongar Aboriginal people. The West Australian government instantly appeals the ruling.

2008

  1. The High Court hands down its Blue Mud Bay decision which says that the Northern Territory government could not grant commercial fishing operators licenses for areas within the boundaries of the Aboriginal Land Rights (NT) Act. This affects 80% of the NT’s coast and tidal rivers where revenues of licenses flow now to Aboriginal people instead of the white government.

  2. The Devils Marbles (Karlu Karlu) site in the Northern Territory is handed back to traditional owners after a 28-year native title battle. Its owners consider Karlu Karlu as one of the most significant sacred sites.

2009

  1. The Northern Territory releases its first-ever policy for homelands and outstations, setting out how the government intends to provide services and infrastructure to assist communities living on Aboriginal-owned lands. Aboriginal homelands

  2. The Northern Territory government and traditional owners settle one of the longest native title claims over the Cox Peninsula, about 30 kms west of Darwin. 80% of the area will be designated Aboriginal land for the Larrakia people.

  3. The Federal Court makes the largest native title determination in South Australia’s history when it regognises rights of the Adnyamathanha people to land in and around the Flinders Ranges.

  4. After months of pressure Tangentyere Council reluctantly agrees to hand over Aboriginal community land to the Australian government for 40 years, in return for A$100m to upgrade housing and services in town camps in Alice Springs.

  5. 50 years after the British military exploded nuclear bombs on their lands without informing them, the South Australian Maralinga Tjarutja people are returned their land. Native Title

2010

  1. The Indigenous Land Corporation (ILC) announces it had purchased the Ayers Rock Resort at Yulara, near Uluru (Ayers Rock). The deal covers all resort hotels, accommodation and infrastructure. The ILC is an independent statutory authority of the Australian government, established to assist Aboriginal people to acquire and manage land to achieve economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits.

2011

  1. Australia experiences its worst flooding on record affecting Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania. The floods claim the life of at least one Aboriginal person, delay land claim hearings and put further pressure on people on housing waiting lists. Many don’t accept help or play down their loss. Aboriginal musician Troy Cassar-Daley loses his farm near Brisbane.

    Golden Guitars are pretty sturdy, like the artists that get them.

    — Troy Cassar-Daley, commenting about the Golden Guitars he won which were muddied by the floods
  2. Cyclone Yasi crosses over north Queensland causing billions of dollars of damage. Palm Island loses its over 100-year-old Old Fig Tree, a story place of the community. People as far as 700 km away feel the force of the storm which triggers the biggest domestic deployment of the defence forces.

  3. Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation releases the video FMG’s Great Native Title Swindle showing Fortescue Metals Group head Andrew Forrest addressing a remote Pilbara community meeting. The video shows how powerless and unsupported Aboriginal people are when negotiating with a multibillion-dollar corporation. The video causes big waves in the media.

2012

  1. More than 30 years after the Mabo decision the Queensland government returns the title over the Murray Islands back to the Meriam people.

2013

  1. The federal government grants environmental approval to Toro Energy’s Wiluna project, the first uranium mine in Western Australia.

  2. The High Court of Australia unanimously uphelds the Torres Strait Sea Claim, paving the way for native title rights to commercial fishing over 44,000 km2. It is the largest native title claim to sea country in Australia’s history in the Torres Strait. The claim was lodged in 2001 and initially had been part of the original Mabo case.

  3. Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett compulsorily acquires 3,414 hectares at James Price Point in the Kimberley to develop a supply base and gas processing hub. Describing the area as "unremarkable", he failed to acknowledge dinosaur prints of global importance.

    He calls it self-determination; we call it standing on our own feet with a gun to our head.

    — Wayne Barker, spokesman for the Jabirr-Jabirr

2014

  1. In the court case Ngurampaa v Balonne Shire Council, the Queensland Minister for Natural Resources and Mines (with responsibility for Lands) presents in writing an admission that there are no cession documents, nor surrender documents as a result of war, relating to the Euahlayi peoples, neither are there any documents to show that the Euahlayi Peoples’ allodial title to land was transferred to the Crown’s land tenure system.

  2. The federal government — without consultation — announces that it would stop providing funding to remote homeland communities from 1 July 2015, prompting Western Australia and South Australia threaten to close “unviable” communities.

References

View article sources (0)

[10378] 'Troy tells of heartbreak', Koori Mail 493 p.10
[10477] 'Indigenous empowerment is being able to say no', ABC News 11/10/2013

Cite this page

Korff, J 2022, Aboriginal timeline: Land & land rights, <https://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/history/australian-aboriginal-history-timeline/landrights?page=4>, retrieved 12 August 2022

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