Six ILUAs (Indigenous land use agreements) were under negotiation between the State of Western Australia and Noongar People. The ILUAs provided for full and final settlement of all current and future claims made by Noongar People under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) in respect of land and waters located in WA. The Full Court rejected the authority in QGC Pty Ltd v Bygrave (No 2) (2010) 189 FCR 412 that an ILUA may be registered, provided it is properly authorised, if at least one of the persons named as applicant for the relevant claim was a party to the ILUA. The Full Court found that four of the ILUAs were not ILUAs within the meaning of s24CA of the Act because not all of the named applicants in the relevant claims had signed the agreements and that, accordingly, the Native Title Registrar had no jurisdiction to register the ILUAs. As a consequence of this finding, several registered ILUAs, particularly those where deceased applicants had not signed the agreements, are now called into question.
On Monday 13 February, the Federal Attorney-General, Mr Brandis QC, announced that he would be introducing urgent amendments to the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) to federal parliament this week in response to the perceived commercial uncertainty that this decision generates.
See the decision here: http://www.judgments.fedcourt.gov.au/judgments/Judgments/fca/full/2017/2017fcafc0010