Claimants to get half a billion dollars in benefits

Staff reporterGeraldton Guardian
Yamatji Nation Traditional Owner Negotiation Team and YSRC Board celebrate their Native Title win at Parliament House in Perth with WA Aboriginal Affairs minister Ben Wyatt.
Camera IconYamatji Nation Traditional Owner Negotiation Team and YSRC Board celebrate their Native Title win at Parliament House in Perth with WA Aboriginal Affairs minister Ben Wyatt. Credit: Ben Wyatt MLA/Supplied, Ben Wyatt MLA

The historic Yamatji Nation Indigenous Land Use Agreement, set to deliver almost half a billion dollars to Yamatji claimants, is now in effect.

WA Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt said the period for judicial review of the National Native Title Tribunal registrar's decision to register this Agreement had expired.

“There are no outstanding legal challenges preventing this Agreement from taking effect,” he said.

“This means that once the Yamatji Trust is established, the first tranche of Western Australian Government funds of about $14.5 million will be available for release in 2020-21 to support key ILUA initiatives.”

Mr Wyatt said these include the purchase of a Geraldton headquarters to house the Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation, creation of the Yamatji Conservation Estate and employment of Yamatji Rangers.

Other initiatives included in the ILUA were tourism development at Pink Lake and Lucky Bay; and groundwater investigations for the Strategic Aboriginal Water Reserve, training for Yamatji water monitors and water sites restoration.

The Yamatji Nation Native Title Determination, which was handed down by the Federal Court in February 2020, will also take effect.

This Determination consolidates the underlying claims Mullewa Wadjari, Hutt River, Widi Mob and Southern Yamatji with the Yamatji Nation Claim.

It also recognises the non-exclusive native title rights and interests of the Yamatji Nation over significant parcels of land in the Agreement area.

To mark the occasion, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt joined the Yamatji Nation Traditional Owner Negotiation Team and the newly appointed board of the YSRC for an event at Parliament House.

"The Yamatji Nation are now well on their way towards achieving self-determination and economic independence for current and future generations of Yamatji people,” he said.

"The WA Government will work in close partnership with the Yamatji people to ensure that they are able to realise the maximum benefit from this Agreement."

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