AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINES WIN BACK LAND RIGHTS
By Erin White
March 18, 2019
Aboriginals all over the world have experienced colonialism. And some countries, like South Africa, have taken mindful actions to make up for the abuse these aboriginals faced when their land and resources were pillaged by imperial powers. The latest country to follow suit is Australia.
The High Court of Australia ruled in favor of the Native Title Act, a list of rights of Australia’s indigenous populations to their traditional land water sources. The ruling in favor of the Ngaliwurru and Nungali Aboriginal groups will pave the way for billions of dollars in compensation. The landmark decision stipulates that these aboriginal groups shall be compensated for the loss of their rights to their land, the loss of economic income related to said land, and the severing of the spiritual connection to the land.
In 2016, the Ngaliwurru and Nungali people were awarded $2.3 million in damages after the federal court found that their native title rights were “extinguished” by the Northern Territory government which, in the 1980s and 90s. built roads throughout their countryside near Timber Creek.
“This is a very important case because it is the first time the High Court has set out the principles for compensation. State lawyers will be particularly interested in analyzing their compensation liabilities,” said Megan Brayne, a native title lawyer and director of the Comhar Group.