Native Title in Australia

Gamilaraay people are engaged in an epic fight for country against coal and gas giants supported by state and federal governments. For Raymond “Bubbly” Weatherall, from the Gunu Gunu clan and the Biridja clan, the fight is about totems — “our water, the environment and the land itself”.

The Darumbal people of central Queensland were recognised as the traditional owners of their land a Federal Court decision on June 21. The native title claim was first made in 1997, making it one of the longest-running claims in Queensland. The decision covers more than 14,500 sq km of land and waters, spanning the Banana, Livingstone and Rockhampton Regional Councils, including the city of Rockhampton, the town centres of Yeppoon, Stanwell, Ogmore and Gracemere, as well as the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Area.
The Beyond Coal Gas Conference held over April 9 to 11 at Myuna Bay invited many Aboriginal leaders involved in the struggle against fracking or coalmining on their country to share their stories and promote solidarity with their campaigns. Speakers over the three days included Kylie Sambo from SEED, the Indigenous youth climate network; Gadrian Hooson from the NT campaign against fracking in Borroloola and other Aboriginal communities; Paul Spearim from the Gamilaraay People and Clan Groups against CSG and Coalmining; and Balai elder Mabel Quakawoot.
In 2008, the then-Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Jay Weatherill announced a review of the South Australian Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988. After initial intensive activity there was a long period of inactivity. Then, suddenly last month, with little notice or consultation, draft legislation to amend the Aboriginal Heritage Act was introduced into state parliament. On March 22, having passed through the Legislative Council, the House of Assembly agreed to the bill without any amendment.
On December 15, the Queensland Land Court recommended the giant Adani-Carmichael open-cut coalmine be given the go-ahead in central Queensland subject to several conditions including the protection of the endangered Black Throated Finch. The hearing was prompted by a number of objections to the mine, including from the conservation group Land Services of Coast and Country.
On November 27 the ABC published documents showing that the Queensland Coordinator General plans to extinguish native title over parts of the proposed Carmichael mining site in the Galilee basin and give the freehold to Adani. The document said: "The Moray Downs Land acquisition includes the takeover of native title rights and interests of the Wangan and Jagalingou people to allow for the leasehold land to be converted to freehold.
Micklo Corpus, a Yawuru traditional owner of country around Broome, WA, has been camping at the entrance to Buru Energy's Yulleroo gas field for 15 months. This week, he was moved on by police for blocking Buru Energy vehicles from accessing a gas fracking site. Buru Energy is planning to frack two wells at the site 70 kilometres east of Broome to test its potential to produce commercial quantities of gas. Corpus is angry that even though the Yawuru people have been granted native title over the area, it does not give the legal right to stop fracking.
Thirteen years after launching their land claim, the Mithaka people of south-west Queensland were granted native title over more than 33,800 square kilometres of their land and waters on October 27. This is one of the largest successful native title determinations in Queensland history: the claim area covers land and waters in the Diamantina and Barcoo shires, and in the expansive Channel Country of outback Queensland.
Bring The Sun Out EP Impossible Odds Classik Nawu Coldwater Band July 2013 www.impossibleoddsrecords.com "Land rights is a load of crap," says Kaylah Truth. They are not the kind of words you'd expect to hear from a radical, politically-savvy Indigenous rapper. But Truth, of militant Murri hip-hop group Impossible Odds, says she has learnt from bitter experience to pursue sovereignty instead. On the band's album, Against All Odds, she raps: I no longer need my fists to fight I just write whenever those emotions do arise
Deep Thought EP Caper April 5, 2013 www.caper.net.au Rapper Caper slams the Native Title Act as a "white bible" on his latest release. The Narungga emcee, who has worked as a Native Title field officer in South Australia for the past 10 years, raps on his track "The Writing's On The Wall": A lot of misconceptions about us owning land We don’t own any, man I work for Native Title The government is a rival Assholes with a white bible