After decades of disappointment, the traditional owners of the Pila Nature Reserve in West Australia’s Gibson Desert have had their native title rights determined.
The historic occasion was celebrated by over 80 traditional owners, government and legal representatives on country, north of Warburton, with dancing, singing and speeches.
The determination is the first to be made under the recent amendment to the Native Title Act. Known as 47C, the amendment implemented in February 2022 now allows traditional owners to overcome the precedent previously set by the High Court as native title could not be claimed in reserves held by the government.
The amendment to the Act has been welcomed and inspires new hope for native title and traditional owners as it can be applied across Australia and “allows native title to be recognised in circumstances where it previously wouldn’t be” – Malcom O’Dell (Lawyer).
A settlement package has also been established for the support and management of country over the next 10 years. The funding will suppose the creating of ranger programs and tourism across the Pila reserve.