The Federal Court on Australia has awarded compensation to Indigenous landowners who have had their native title rights extinguished under the Native Title Act, the first time a court has been called upon to calculate the value of land-rights.
The Ngaliwurru and Nungali people, Aboriginal custodians of land at Timber Creek in the Northern Territory, were awarded $3.3 million for the loss of their native title rights.
Justice John Mansfield awarded $2 million as compensation for the loss of the value of the land and a further $1.3 in damages for the loss of connection to the land.
Under the Native Title Act, Indigenous Australians can claim a range of native title land rights if they can prove an ongoing connection to the land. These rights can be lost if freehold title or leases have been granted on the land, a mechanism which protects farmers and property-owners.
Under the legislation, traditional owners are able to claim compensation from authorities for dispossession.
The full text of the historic judgment is below. It marks the final case of Justice John Mansfield's career on the bench.