SOUTH WEST NATIVE TITLE
1548. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the minister representing the
I refer to a report last week that
the Noongar people of south west Western Australia are pursuing more than $290 billion
for spiritual damage caused by the alleged loss of their traditional land.
(1) What is the government's
estimate of the legal fees to fight this claim?
(2) Will the taxpayer be footing the
bill for the legal costs to fight the claim?
(3) Will the
government be seeking payment of its legal costs from the Noongar people if the
government is successful in defending the claim?
(4) Are there plans by the government to prevent
future frivolous and vexatious claims from clogging our courts?
STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question. The following answer has been provided to me by
the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs.
costs of legal fees are presently unknown. The compensation claim has been
brought by one of the applicants to the judicial review proceedings in relation
to the south west native title settlement. Those proceedings are challenging
the Native Title Registrar's decision to register the six south west
native title settlement Indigenous land use agreements. A decision on the
judicial review proceedings in relation to registration
of the ILUAs will be delivered by the full Federal Court in the near future.
The outcome of that decision will impact the resources required to
respond to this compensation claim.
(4) The state government cannot prevent individuals
from lodging claims with the Federal Court. The Federal Court is responsible
for the lodgement of claims and their acceptance for filing under the Federal Court's