Aboriginal Affairs Minister Stephen Dawson and Lands Minister Tony Buti have today executed the first documents that give effect to Boodja (Lands) transfers under the South West Native Title Settlement (Settlement) at a signing ceremony with Noongar leaders and elders at Parliament House.
These first parcels of land signify the commencement of a five-year process to transfer up to 320,000 hectares of Crown land to the Noongar Land Estate.
The transfer of up to 300,000 hectares of land as reserve or leasehold and up to 20,000 hectares of land as freehold will be for cultural or economic development purposes, as determined by the Noongar traditional owners of the South-West.
The Settlement, the most comprehensive Native Title Agreement negotiated in Australian history, recognises the Noongar people as the traditional owners of the South-West region.
Noongar people’s strong and continuing connection to their Boodja is reflected throughout the many elements of the Settlement, including the creation of the Noongar Land Estate.
The transfer of the first parcels of land into the Noongar Land Estate is an important milestone towards the establishment of a significant asset base to be developed in line with Noongar cultural, social and economic aspirations for generations to come.
The six Noongar Regional Corporations are soon to be established, and will represent the rights and interests of the Noongar people and be the key partners for the ongoing transfer of lands to the Noongar Land Estate.
Other significant commitments under the Settlement will commence once the Noongar Regional Corporations are established later in 2021 or early 2022.
For more information on the Settlement, visit the Department of the Premier and Cabinet’s website.
As stated by Aboriginal Affairs Minister Stephen Dawson:
“I am honoured to be part of this significant milestone for the Noongar Nation.
“Noongar access to and ownership of land forms a cornerstone of the Settlement and Noongar people’s ability to connect with their Boodja is of fundamental importance. This is supported through the range of measures negotiated by the Noongar people through the Settlement.
“I look forward to partnering with the Noongar people to achieve sustainable social, economic and cultural outcomes, including the ability to develop, hold and access their Boodja as the traditional owners of the South-West.”
As stated by Lands Minister Tony Buti:
“The McGowan Government celebrates this opportunity to demonstrate commitment to growing strong and productive partnerships with the Noongar people as the recognised traditional owners of the South-West of Western Australia.
“I recognise the significance of this day, which marks the beginning of a precedent-setting collaborative process to hand a significant amount of land back to the Noongar people.
“The direct management and development of this land in line with Noongar cultural, social and economic aspirations will benefit the community for generations to come.”