Source:
SBS
8 Jul 2003 - 12:00 AM  UPDATED 23 Aug 2013 - 9:01 AM

More than a hundred shire councils in the southwest of Western Australia have signed an agreement of cooperation with the Nyoongar Aboriginal people in the biggest Native Title arrangement in Australia¹s history.

The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council and the Western Australian Local Government Association representing 105 shires in the Nyoongar Native Title claim area.

The memorandum was mediated by the National Native Title Tribunal and took six months of negotiations between the Land Council and the various shires.

Local Government Association President, Councillor Clive Robartson says the Memorandum will act as a guide for regional agreements

"The template agreements will not only set out examples of how to communicate, cooperate and work together, they will also set out some of the strategies that councils can play to recognise and acknowledge the benefits that Indigenous peoples can bring to our community".

The Memorandum involves 105 of WA¹s 144 local governments and an estimated 30-thousand Nyoongar people whose traditional land covers the southwest and wheatbelt areas of W-A and includes the Perth Metropolitan Area.

The Southwest Land and Sea Council is also working on a single Nyoongar claim to go before the National Native Title Tribunal, possibly within a year.