The Lappi Lappi and Ngulupi people are celebrating the recognition of native title over the Central Desert region of Western Australia.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion welcomed the historic determination and congratulated the area’s traditional owners on gaining legal acknowledgement of the land.
The determination area covers approximately 6,072 square kilometres of land and waters and is situated on the Western Australia and Northern Territory border. Part of the Balwina Aboriginal Reserve and part of the Central Australia Aboriginal Reserve are based on the land.
“This determination justly recognises the native title right and interests of the Lappi Lappi and Ngulupi people,” Minister Scullion said.
“They own this land – they always have and they always will. Today’s determination confirms what they have always known.”
The Lappi Lappi and Ngulupi claim was the last remaining determination in the northern part of Western Australia’s Central Desert region.
“The Lappi Lappi and Ngulupa people waited patiently for their moment and it has arrived,” Minister Scullion said.
“This is a major milestone and I would like to congratulate all those who have helped make it a reality. The traditional owners are free to use and enjoy the area to the exclusion of all others.”
Across Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have had native title claims finalised over approximately 40 per cent of land and we are committed to seeing all outstanding claims resolved as soon as possible.
The Commonwealth Government is also investing more than $20 million to build capacity in Prescribed Bodies Corporate so that Native Title holders can realise the economic, cultural and social aspirations for their land.