The historic Yamatji Nation Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA), which is set to deliver almost half a billion dollars to the Yamatji community, is now in effect.
The period for judicial review of the National Native Title Tribunal Registrar’s decision to register this Agreement has expired, and there are no outstanding legal challenges preventing this Agreement from taking effect.
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. These initiatives include:
- the purchase of headquarters in Geraldton to house the Yamatji Southern Regional Corporation (YSRC);
- creation of the Yamatji Conservation Estate;
- employment of Yamatji Rangers
- 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 and 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.
As stated by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Ben Wyatt:
“The Yamatji Nation are now well on their way towards achieving self-determination and economic independence for current and future generations of Yamatji people.
“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.”