Case summary: Jango v Northern Territory

AIATSIS Research

Aug, 2006
Research project: 
Product type: 
Research outputs
Statistics and summaries

The case in Jango v Northern Territory of Australia [2006] FCA 318 involved a claim for compensation over the tourist town of Yulara near Uluru under s 61(1) of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) (NTA). In order to demonstrate their entitlement to compensation the claimant group were required to establish, as a threshold issue, that they had native title rights and interests over the area at the time the ‘compensation acts occurred’. These acts included the granting of freehold leases and the construction of public works which were said to have extinguished native title between 1979 and 1992. Sackville J ultimately found that the applicants failed to establish critical elements of the threshold issue – namely, that the applicants observed and acknowledged the traditional laws and customs of the Western Desert bloc as pleaded, and that the laws and customs were traditional in the required sense. While Sackville J rejected the applicants’ claim on the basis of insufficient evidence to establish the case as pleaded, His Honour made clear that the decision did not mean individual applicants would have been unable to prove native title had the case been conducted differently. Indeed, Sackville J’s latest decision leaves the way clear for another native title compensation claim to be formulated in relation to the same application area.

Last reviewed: 26 Jul 2017