Native title compensation - 25 July 2017

Last year saw the first ever litigated native title compensation decision (Timber Creek decision) in which the Ngaliwurru and Nungali Peoples were awarded $3.3 million as compensation for the extinguishment and impairment of their non-exclusive native title rights and interests.

The Court valued the non-exclusive rights in Timber Creek at 80% of the freehold value of the land.

This decision was appealed and last week, the appeal judgment was handed down by the Full Federal Court in Northern Territory of Australia v Griffiths [2017] FCAFC 106. The Full Court agreed with the trial judge Justice Mansfield’s “intuitive” approach to determining value based on a comparison with freehold value, but found that native title’s economic value was 65% not 80% of the freehold value.

A more detailed analysis of the Full Court's decision will be issued in the near future by HopgoodGanim Lawyers’ Native Title & Cultural Heritage Team.

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