Williams on behalf of the Gumbaynggirr People and Attorney General of New South Wales [2019] FCA 1915

New South Wales
Federal Court
Legislation considered: 
Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 (NSW)
s 87 Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)

Robertson J

In this matter the Court made orders by consent recognising the non-exclusive native title rights and interests of the Gumbaynggir People in relation to six parcels of land located on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, in and around the Gumma Peninsula on the Nambucca River. 

The respondents were the Attorney General of New South Wales as the State Minister for New South Wales, Nambucca Heads Local Aboriginal Land Council and Austone Ltd.


The land subject to the present claim was excised from an earlier native title claim, determined by consent in Phyball on Behalf of the Gumbaynggirr People v Attorney-General of New South Wales [2014] FCA 851 (Phyball). See Related Content.

The Phyball applicant and the respondents agreed to exclude certain lots, referred to as Gumma Peninsula and the Islands, from the original application to allow for the Phyball determination. As part of this agreement the respondents agreed not to oppose the making of a determination of native title by the Gumbaynggirr People over the Gumma Peninsula and Islands and they would not require any further connection evidence than was provided in Phyball to show connection to that land, subject to certain conditions.

Rights and interests - Non-exclusive

The nature and extent of the native title rights and interests held by the Gumbaynggirr People were determined to be the non-exclusive rights to enjoy and use the lands and waters in the Native Title Area in accordance with Gumbaynggirr traditional laws and customs being:

  • The right to have access to and Camp on the Native Title Area;
  • The right to take and use waters on or in the Native Title Area;
  • The right to hunt and gather natural resources of the Native Title Area
  • The right to take fish in the temporary waters occurring above the mean high water mark in the Native Title Area
  • The right to do the following activities on the land:
    • Conduct ceremonies;
    • Teach the physical, cultural and spiritual attributes of places and areas of importance on or in the land and waters; and
    • To have access to, maintain and protect from physical harm, sites in the Native Title Area which are of significance to Gumbaynggirr People under their traditional laws and customs. 


The Court also determined that native title is extinguished in the Extinguished Area described in Schedule Two and depicted in red hatching in the map attached to Schedule Two of the decision.

Prescribed Body Corporate

The native title is to be held in trust by the Wanggaan (Southern) Gumbaynggir Nation Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC (ICN 9095).