The determination of indigenous title to the Yamatji Nation and the signing of the Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) in Geraldton were revolutionary successes. On August 31, 2017, the Minister of Indigenous Affairs made an offer to reach a negotiated alternative settlement of four Indigenous title claims to 48,000 km2 of land and water in the Geraldton area: South Yamatji, Hutt River, Widi Mob and Mullewa Wadjari. www.wa.gov.au/government/document-collections/yamatji-nation-indigenous-land-use-agreement-fact-sheets The parties reached an agreement in principle on 30 July 2019. On 7 February 2020, the State of Western Australia and the southern claims groups of Yamatji, Hutt River, Mullewa Wadjari and Widi Mob entered into an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) documenting an Indigenous Property Agreement agreed during negotiations on the Geraldton Alternative Settlement Agreement. On the same day, the Federal Court issued orders that combined these Aboriginal title claims into a claim called the Yamatji Nation and an Aboriginal property consent provision for these claims. The determination and injunctions summarizing claims will only take effect upon THE “final registration” of the ILUA (i.e. once all possibilities for legal challenge have been exhausted or completed). Once the ILUA is finally registered and the provision is effective, national title expires on most of the land that has been the subject of the claims. Nevertheless, non-exclusive ownership of indigenous title to certain small culturally important areas in these regions has been recognized.
All existing agreements will remain in force. From the date of final registration, DMIRS is required to apply the inheritance condition set out in clause 22.5 of the YNILUA when mining concessions, titles under the Petroleum and Geothermal Resources Act, 1967 and pipeline licences are granted under the Petroleum Pipelines Act, 1969. The (YNILUA) will provide a set of permanent benefits to ensure long-term self-determination and economic independence and opportunities for the Yamatji people. The benefit package includes a number of components, including money, economic development opportunities, Indigenous heritage protection, recognition, housing, governance, access to water, land and a nature reserve management package. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, films, audio recordings or printed materials. This Yamatji Nation Indigenous Land Use Agreement (YNILUA) resolves the state government`s responsibility for Indigenous title of more than 48,000 square kilometers in the Midwest region of Washington State, which covers the Yamatji Nation`s claim to Indigenous title. As the holder of Indigenous title, the Yamatji Nation has non-exclusive ownership rights to culturally significant portions of the former Barnong, Menai Hills and Kadji Kadji pastoral leases, as well as to parcels of land near Wandana Nature Reserve, Lucky Bay and Aboriginal land trust areas in Carnamah, Kadathini and Eneabba. Under Yamatji Land Domain, reserves are established under the Land Administration (WA) Act of 1997 for the purpose of Yamatji`s social, cultural and/or economic benefits.
Certain mining and petroleum concessions straddling proposed reserve lands have been granted “affected dwelling house” or “potential conversion concession area” status under Schedule 12 of the WTTA. Owners of an “affected dwelling house” may continue to access the affected dwelling house(s) and pursue mining or petroleum activities. “Potential conversion concessions” means a three-year grace period during which the holder can apply for a mining lease, oil production licence or oil retention lease prior to the establishment of a reserve. ILUA recognizes the Yamatji Nation`s traditional connection to land and water on nearly 48,000 square kilometres of land in the Midwest region of Western Australia (Agreement Area). In addition, it offers a number of benefits to the people of the Yamatji Nation to compensate them for actions that have compromised or destroyed their homeland title. Relevantly, ILUA provides for the establishment of the Yamatji Land Domain, the Yamatji Conservation Domain and a new inheritance condition imposed for future mining and oil ownership in the Agreement Area. THE ILUA provides for the protection of indigenous culture and heritage by introducing a condition imposed on all new mining and petroleum properties granted in the Agreement Area. This condition requires proponents to enter into either a standard Yamatji Standard Heritage Agreement with the regional entity or another form of Indigenous heritage agreement with the regional entity. Basically, the new condition states that a cultural heritage agreement must be concluded before the proponents exercise any of the rights, powers or obligations under the part of the mandate that straddles the scope of the agreement.
The (YPSHA) is located in Annex 17 of the (YNILUA) and reflects the Yamatji Government Standard Heritage Agreement (YGSHA). The YPSHA provides a model agreement for lawyers in case they do not wish to enter into another succession agreement with the regional entity. ILUA is also considering the establishment of a nature reserve, after which the Department of Biodiversity and Conservation and the Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation (regional entity) will jointly manage the new and existing nature conservation areas and national parks. This will limit the ability of mining and oil advocates who own the proposed new conservation or national parks area to conduct activities after the parks are established. The Yamatji Nation`s Indigenous Land Use Agreement (Agreement) was approved by all stakeholders in December 2019 and signed on February 9, 2020, when the Federal Court also found that the Yamatji Nation had non-exclusive rights and interests in certain parcels of land in the Agreement Area. Upon registration of ILUA by the NNTT, the “conclusive registration” of the ILUA, which is the date of entry into force of the ILUA and the date of the provision of consent to the Yanmatji Nation`s indigenous title claim, will take place once the ILUA remains registered 60 working days after the decision to register the ILUA (meaning that no legal proceedings have been initiated to review the registration decision) or otherwise 40 working days after the exhaustion and determination of all Legal Proceedings purchased as part of the registration decision. For more information on registration, visit the National Aboriginal Titles Tribunal website. More information on the agreement can be found in the Yamatji Nation Aboriginal Land Use Agreement documents and fact sheets. Upon final registration, THE ILUA binds all parties and title holders born in the Yamatji Nation, and the claims of the Yamatji Nation are determined by consent. DMIRS has representatives on government implementation and partnership committees and plays an ongoing role in managing related mining and oil permits, calculating mining rent revenues, and adhering to the associated Yamatji Government`s Standard Heritage Agreement. On April 29, 2020, the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT) issued a Notice of Application for Registration of the ILUA, thus initiating the three-month notification period after which the NNTT can make a decision on the registration of the ILUA, unless there are grounds for refusal.