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Background

The State of Western Australia, Southern Yamatji, Hutt River, Mullewa Wadjari and Widi Mob claim groups entered into negotiations about an alternative settlement of native title claims.

 

Negotiations formally started on 6 November 2017 with the signing of the Grant Agreement that commits the State to funding parts of the negotiation process. Negotiations led to a draft agreement called the Geraldton Alternative Settlement Agreement (GASA) and this was laterchanged to Yamatji Nation Southern Regional Agreement (YNSRA).  This settlement agreement covers the area in the map below (the Separate Proceeding Area (SPA) or settlement area).

What was the role of the federal court?

On 8 November 2017, the Federal Court set a deadline for the State and the claim groups to negotiate and reach an Agreement by 27 December 2019. The original four claim groups agreed to lodge a new single claim overarching the entire SPA area known as the Yamatji Nation Claim.

YMAC provided ongoing advice and representation to the native title claim groups that it
represented in the SPA, which were Hutt River, Southern Yamatji, and Yamatji Nation
(including descendants of additional ancestors of those who were not included in the original underlying claims). Mullewa Wadjari were represented by Corser and Corser consultants and Widi Mob by MPS Law consultants.

The native title claim groups authorised an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) on 9
December 2019, which is known as the Yamatji Nation ILUA. It is an agreement between the State and all five claim groups in the SPA.

6th of November 2017 - Negotiations formally begin with the signing of the Grant Agreement

that commits the State to funding parts of the negotiation process.

8th of November 2017 - the Federal Court set a deadline for the State and the claim groups to

negotiate and reach an Agreement by 27 December 2019.

9th of December 2019- The native title claim groups authorised an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) known as the Yamatji Nation ILUA.

8th of January 2020 - The Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation Ltd (YSRC) was established.

7th of February 2020 - An on-Country Federal Court hearing was held in Geraldton for the people

from the Yamatji Nation Claim.

Timeline of Events

Who Negotiated on behalf of the claim groups?

The original SPA claims set up a 12-person Traditional Owner Negotiation Team (TONT).
Through their Working Groups, each of the claims nominated and authorised representatives to be on the TONT.

Negotiations between the TONT and representatives of the State of Western Australia began on 14-15 November 2017 in Geraldton. The TONT continued to negotiate face to face with the State to reach the best possible agreement up until December 2019.

The aim was to achieve an agreement that reflected the aspirations and needs of the
Traditional Owners’ community in the SPA as a whole. The TONT’s vision statement was, “A progressive and equitable agreement that recognises us and our Country, supports our growth and provides us with control of our destiny.”

 

This agreement was endorsed by the community in December 2019.

TONT members were:

Mullewa Wadjari Representatives
- Leedham Papertalk Snr, Glenda Jackamarra,

Hutt River Representatives,

- Paul Eley, Helen Nutter,

Widi Mob Representatives,

- Shirley McPherson. Kathleen Pinkerton.
Southern Yamatji Representatives
- Fred Taylor, Rod Little, Carol Martin, Ross Councillor, Delveen Whitby, Leedham Papertalk Snr, Glenda Jackamarra, Helen Nutter, Paul Eley, Shirley McPherson, Kathleen Pinkerton
Mr Warner (deceased).

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Map of SPA