Monday, 28 October 2013

New native title claims in the Hunter Valley and Lake Macquarie

Native Title claim NC2013/002 – Lower Hunter to the Central Coast areas

On 13 May 2013, the Awabakal and Guringai People lodged the Native Title claim NC2013/002 (Claim NC2013/002) with the National Native Title Tribunal (NNTT).  The Claim NC2013/002 covers an area of approximately 3923 square kilometres, and encompasses parts of the Lower Hunter Valley, Newcastle, the Central Coast, as well as all of Lake Macquarie and its surrounds (excluding areas in which native title has been extinguished).

Claim NC2013/002 was accepted for registration in the NNTT on 13 June 2013, and was registered on the same day.  Claim NC2013/002 was publicly notified on 9 October 2013.  The Native Title Act 1993 allows persons not included in Claim NC2013/002, to apply to become a party to Claim NC2013/002 prior to 8 January 2014.

Claim NC2013/002 satisfied the registration test on 13 June 2013, giving the Awabakal and Guringai people as ‘registered native title claimants’, the right to negotiate in relation to future acts, including mining, in the claim area where native title has not previously been extinguished, if the future act process is triggered.

If you propose to carry out a future act in the area included in Claim NC2013/002, you will be required to negotiate with the Awabakal and Guringai people.  The right to negotiate process will not stop your project or development from going ahead, however it gives the native title claimants a right to have a say about the project.  This process also enables the native title claimants to negotiate an agreement, which may include compensation.

Native Title claim NC2013/006 – Upper Hunter to Newcastle areas

On 19 August 2013, Mr Scott Franks and Mr Robert Lester lodged Native Title Claim NC2013/006 on behalf of the Plains Clans of the Wonnarua People.  This claim has not yet been accepted for registration by the NNTT.

This claim encompasses an approximate area of 11,358 square kilometres including parts of the local government regions of Cessnock City Council, Dungog Shire Council, Hawkesbury City Council, Liverpool Plains Shire Council, Maitland City Council, Muswellbrook Shire Council, Singleton Shire Council and the Upper Hunter Shire Council (excluding areas in which native title has been extinguished).

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