Court decision

Native title compensation

By Michael Hunt and Liz Wreck / 25 July 2017
1 min.
Worthwhile read for: Traditional land owner

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.

Michael Hunt
Michael Hunt is a Consultant with the firm and has practised mining and petroleum law in Perth for over 40 years. He established Hunt & Humphry as a specialist project law firm in 1996, and in 2017 merged with HopgoodGanim Lawyers.
Liz Wreck
Liz is an Associate in our Resources and Energy practice.
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