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Native title win in WA's remote desert

AAP logoAAP 11/08/2016

A native title claim for a 20,000sq km area in a remote part of the Great Sandy Desert in Western Australia has been won by the Ngurra Kayanta people.

They first applied for native title over the land, which straddles the Shire of East Pilbara and the Shire of Halls Creek, in December 2012.

Federal Court of Australia Justice Michael Barker said none of the claimants now lived permanently in the area but continued to adhere to traditional laws and customs by visiting and maintaining a physical association with the country, and passing on traditional songs, stories and knowledge of sites to children and grandchildren.

"The claimants have maintained a presence in the determination area since the acquisition of British sovereignty," Justice Barker said.

"In addition, evidence of the continuing physical or spiritual involvement of the claimants in the determination area is accepted to conclude that this connection has not been severed.

"Ultimately, the state is satisfied that the material presented is sufficient to evidence the maintenance of connection according to traditional laws and customs."

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