Friday, September 22, 2006


Big native title news this week.
The Federal Court ruled WA's Noongar people are the traditional owners of around 20,000 sq km of WA, including the metropolitan area.
Some early reports had the claim area stretching from Hopetoun in the south to north of Jurien Bay - and including Rottnest Island.
Other more recent accounts say Rotto is excluded - "although Rottnest Island has been excluded from the claim", ABC Radio reported on Tuesday.
The original claim did include Rottnest, but as the SMH reported on Wednesday:
"...judge Murray Wilcox said yesterday that the Noongar people were the traditional owners of the whole claim area, excluding offshore islands such as Rottnest, and their society had been maintained since European settlement in 1829".
"Justice Wilcox found Noongar people would not have had access to these places before the arrival of Europeans, as historical evidence showed Noongar people did not use boats in 1829", a Perth paper reported.
Flag image copyright Christopher Vance

1 comment:

  1. They've been here for forty thousand years so 1 would have to assume they had access to Rotto at some point,in lieu of Gondwanna land.
    Cultural importance changes anyway, while Rotto may not have been inhabited, they should have a sacred site claim over it because it's the grave of their ancestors.
    I can't believe the state gov would oppose it, they've become more like the Libs - maybe they've been in too long?