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AATL: Historical land right legislations
Term 3 Yr 11 Trial Prep: The history of the land rights movement and native title, and government responses through legislation and policies + other 6 points on land/water rights
Terms in this set (14)
Outline: Yirrkala Bark Petition (1963)
Sent by the Yolngu people of Arnhem Land to
the Australian Parliament in 1963
Called for the House of Representatives to reconsider
the decision to allow 300km2 of land to be excised for mining and to send a committee to speak to the elders.
Impacts (community specific): Yirrkala Bark Petition (1963)
After first being denied, the Yolngu went to court in the Gove land rights case (1971) → lost as courts were still bound by terra nullius
Judge did acknowledge the claimants' ritual and economic use of the land and that they had an established system of law → paving the way for future Aboriginal Land Rights in Australia.
The recommendations of a bipartisan Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry acknowledging the rights of the Yolngu People as set out in the petitions and recommending the payment of compensation, protection for sacred sites and monitoring of the mining project by an ongoing parliamentary committee, failed to be implemented.
Significance (Land rights as a whole): Yirrkala Bark Petition (1963)
The petitions led to the Land Rights Act in 1976 (NT) and, in 1992, to the High Court's Mabo decision overturning 'terra nullius' and recognising Aboriginal occupation of Australia before European settlement (they did not win their case due to Terra Nullius existing at the time).
The bark petition hangs in Parliament House, Canberra as a testament to the significance of the Yolngu to the birth of the land rights movement (first traditional native title documents recognised by the Australian parliament.).
Outline: Wave Hill Walk Off (1966)
200 Gurindji stockmen, led by Vincent Lingiari, protested more than 80 years of massacre, stolen children, unequal wages and general mistreatment.
Impacts (community specific): Wave Hill Walk Off (1966)
Resulted in the Whitlam government giving the land back in 1975 → set up an Inquiry, and subsequently draft legislation. The Labor Government called a halt to development leases granted by the Northern Territory Land Board that might damage Indigenous rights and suspended mining exploration licences
Although it took another two decades, the Gurindji also became one of the first Aboriginal groups to reclaim their traditional lands.
Significance (Land rights as a whole): Wave Hill Walk Off (1966)
Influenced the passing of the 1976 Land Rights Act (NT) and equal pay.
Still a symbol for contemporary efforts to achieve land rights.
Outcome/Description: Native Title (1993)
Native Title is a right to an area of land, claimed by people whose ancestors were the original inhabitants before European settlement and who can prove that they have had a continuous connection with the land.
Impacts (community specific): Native Title (1993)
Wik People / Wik decision 1996
If there is any inconsistency between the rights of the native title holders and the rights of the pastoralist, the rights of the native title holders must yield. If there is no conflict, the rights of each co-exist.
The claims were over large areas which included a number of pastoral leases, and two special mining leases granted under ratified State Government agreements.
The claimants asserted that their native title rights had survived the grant of the pastoral
leases, and that the mining leases were invalid.
The High Court determined that pastoralists did not have exclusive rights to the land. The Wik people were then granted the right to Native Title in two areas of land.
It wasn't until 16 years later that the Wik Vs. Queensland case was finally formalised. On 11 October 2012, the last parcel of land was handed back to the Wik people. The areas that were granted as Native Title were Aurukun and Weipa.
Significance (Land rights as a whole): Native Title (1993)
Influenced Wik decision
Resulted in the overturning of Terra Nullius, the traditional ownership of the land prior to colonisation was recognised
Difficult to prove ongoing connection due to colonial histories resulting in the dispossession of many Aboriginal People's from their land/culture → however is Native Title is found to be extinguished the Aboriginal Peoples must be compensated (this is difficult to compensate for lost culture/language/economic opportunities)
Only vacant crown land can be claimed, many sites are unable to be claimed
353 successful Native Title determinations
54 have been struck down and >400 are outstanding
Dates of Yirrkala, overturning of Terra Nullius, Land Rights Act (NT), Walk Off, Whitlam land back, Native Title, Wik decision, Yorta Yorta
--> Gove land rights case: 1971
Walk Off: 1966
--> Whitlam: 1975
Land Rights Act: 1976
Terra Nullius: 1992
Native Title: 1993
Native Title amendment act: 1998
Yorta Yorta: 2002 --> recognition 2004
Outline: Yorta Yorta (2002)
The High Court upheld the decision of the Federal Court in determining that
the dispossession and dislocation had extinguished Yorta Yorta native title rights.
Impacts: Yorta Yorta (2002)
In 2004, a cooperative agreement was established with the Yorta Yorta people that included recognition of public land, rivers and lakes throughout north-central Victoria. Inalienable free-hold title (not real native title)
Significance: Yorta Yorta (2002)
Represents a landmark in the State of Victoria for involving Indigenous peoples in the management of their traditional country outside of the Native Title process.
10 point plan (Native Title amendment act 1998)
Response by the Howard government to the 1996 Wik decision, placed further restrictions on Aboriginal Peoples access to Native TItle claim through stipulations such as allowing state governments to decide if Native Title had been extinguished prior to 1st Jan 1994, and allowing the denial of Native claimants if the land may be utilised for future mining prospects.
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