Deadline for native title claim

AUGUST 29 is the deadline for affected councils to register to become a party to a native title claim that has been lodged across the Tenterfield, Grafton and Glen Innes areas of Northern NSW.

There are 10 applicants named in the claim brought by the Western Bundjalung people which was filed in the Federal Court in December 2011 and accepted in May this year.

The group is asking the Federal Court to recognise its traditional rights including fishing, hunting, camping, water use and cultural and spiritual activities within the council areas of Clarence Valley, Kyogle, Richmond Valley, Glen Innes and Tenterfield.

The claim excludes freehold estates and residential leases as well as exclusive agricultural and pastoral leases and scheduled interests.

But it covers areas of Crown Land and some water resources.

It identifies 14 public reserve lands in Tenterfield to be used for recreation, cemetery burial and grave preservation.

The 10 applicants are Tim Totens, David Mundine, Kathy Malera-Bandjalan, Bronwyn Bancroft, Leonard Gordon, David Walker, Terrence Robinson, Andrew Donnelly, Gary Brown, and Graeme Walker.

Native Title Service Provider Corp Ltd spokeswoman Danielle Bevins-Sundvall said: "The Western Bundjalung People are committed to ensuring the protection of their traditional sites and places of cultural importance for the benefit of their future generations, and the community as a whole.

"They believe that the native title application is one mechanism which will help to achieve this."

A spokeswoman for the National Native Title Tribunal said by becoming a party to the application it gave an opportunity to have a say in mediation and, if necessary, to make sure your interests were taken into account in court.



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