Balanggarra Aboriginal Corporation
The Balanggarra Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC administers land on behalf of the Balanggarra People. Their native title rights and interests were first recognised in the Balanggarra (Combined) and Balanggarra #3 native title determinations of 2013.
Balanggarra (Combined) concerned recognition of the Balanggarra people’s native title rights and interest over approximately 26,025 square kilometres of land and sea in the northern Kimberley region of Western Australia.
Two native title applications, originally filed in 1995, were amended and combined in 1999 to form Balanggarra (Combined). The claim area included the Kalumburu, Oombulgurri and Forrest River Aboriginal reserves, Carson River pastoral lease, parts of the Drysdale River National Park and unallocated crown land at Cape Londonderry, Carson River and the Cambridge Gulf coast. The northern boundary runs through sea country and encompasses a number of islands near the coast, including the Sir Graham Moore Islands, Adolphus Island and Reveley Island. The respondents to Balanggarra (Combined) were the State Of Western Australia, the Commonwealth, Paspaley Pearling Company Pty Ltd, Roebuck Pearl Producers Pty Ltd and Telstra Corporation Limited.
Balanggarra #3 concerned the recognition of the Balanggarra people’s native title rights and interests over approximately 4,318 square kilometres of land and waters, including areas of the Cambridge Gulf and islands located in the northern Kimberley region of Western Australia. The claim area for Balanggarra #3 included two major land areas: an eastern component, which includes Wyndham, and a western component, which includes parts of Home Valley pastoral station. The eastern and western components of Cheinmora #3 are separated by the southern portion of Balanggarra (Combined). The respondents to Balanggarra #3 were the State Of Western Australia, the Commonwealth, Delaware North El Questro Pty Ltd and Telstra Corporation Limited.
The parties in both matters reached agreement in relation to only part of the land and waters over which the Balanggarra people sought recognition of native title. The parties agreed that no determination would be made over the remaining area where no agreement had been reached and that those areas would continue in case management.
For the areas subject to the parties’ agreement, in both matters, the Court recognised that the Balanggarra people had exclusive native title rights, except where those rights had been extinguished. Acts of extinguishment included some 393 grants of estate in fee simple at Wyndham Port.