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Council's decisions from the February 2019 meeting

The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council made decisions in February relating to 4 Registered Aboriginal Party applications.

07/02/19 1.06am

The Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council made decisions in February relating to the Registered Aboriginal Party applications from Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation, Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation, Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation and Taungurung Land and Waters Council (Aboriginal Corporation). The decisions are outlined below.

Date of decision: 7 February 2019

Decision to decline the Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP) application from Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation (GMTOAC)

At its meeting on 7 February 2019, the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council (Council) decided to decline the RAP application from GMTOAC in relation to an area to the north west of the GMTOAC RAP area (the Decision Area). The boundary of the Decision Area commences at the South‐Australian border, runs easterly across the Wimmera Highway, intersects with Apsley and Edenhope and extends as far east as Harrow. Find the map which shows the application Decision Area.

In making its decision, Council had regard to information GMTOAC provided to support its application, including information about its claims to the Decision Area. Council also considered GMTOAC’s interest in seeking joint RAP status with Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (BGLC) as the other Traditional Owner corporation with a RAP application over the Decision Area.

While Council acknowledged GMTOAC’s proposition that both GMTOAC and BGLC represent Traditional Owners of the Decision area and should operate as a joint RAP for the area, Council was not provided with sufficient information as to either group’s claims of traditional ownership over the Decision Area, or as to their progress with agreement making or plans concerning shared RAP responsibilities in relation to the Decision Area. Council formed the view that, on the basis of information available to it, it was not satisfied that GMTOAC is an organisation that represents the Traditional Owners of the Decision Area or that GMTOAC should be appointed jointly with BGLC as a RAP over the Decision Area.

Date of decision: 7 February 2019

Decision to decline the Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP) application from Barengi Gadjin Land Council (Aboriginal Corporation)  (BGLC)

At its meeting on 7 February 2019, the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council (Council) decided to decline BGLC’s RAP application in relation to:

i) An area to the south west of the BGLC RAP area, the boundary of which commences at the South‐Australian border, runs easterly across the Wimmera Highway, intersects with Apsley and Edenhope and extends as far east as Harrow (Decision Area 1).

ii) The area that includes the Grampians National Park/Gariwerd (Gariwerd), and the area east of Gariwerd to the Western Highway (Decision Area 2).

Decision Area 1:

In making its decision, Council had regard to information BGLC provided to support its application, including information about its claims to the Decision Area.

Council also noted correspondence from both BGLC and GMTOAC that demonstrated their desire to seek joint RAP status over Decision Area 1.

In this regard Council sought information from BGLC as to the progress of agreement making with Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation (GMTOAC), its claims to the Decision Area, the basis of its and GMTOAC’s shared interests in the Decision Area, and how BGLC and GMTOAC would conduct joint RAP operations to ensure effective operation of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006.

Such information was not provided. Council formed the view that, on the basis of information available to it, it was not satisfied that BGLC is an organisation that represents the Traditional Owners of the Decision Area or that BGLC should be appointed jointly with GMTOAC as a RAP over the Decision Area.

Decision Area 2:

In making its decision, Council had regard to information BGLC provided to support its application,including information about its claims to the Decision Area BGLC. Council sought further information from BGLC about these claims which was not provided. Council also had regard to the competing claims of traditional ownership of this Decision Area.

Taking all relevant information into account Council accepted there may be members of BGLC who are Traditional Owners of Decision Area 2, and experienced in the management of cultural heritage in this area. However, Council found that BGLC had not demonstrated it alone was representative of the Traditional Owners of Decision Area 2.

Date of decision: 7 February 2019

Decision to decline in part the Registered Aboriginal Party (RAP) application from Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation (EMAC) 

At its meeting on 7 February 2019, the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council (Council) decided to decline EMAC’s RAP application in relation to:

i) The area encompassing the Martang RAP area, the Grampians National Park (Gariwerd), and the area east of Gariwerd which bound in the north by the Wimmera River and in the east by the Ararat St Arnaud Rd and includes an area over which Barengi Gadjin Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (BGLC) has native title and an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) and is a RAP (Decision Area 1).

ii) The area located west of Ballarat in the Western District of Victoria that has Skipton at its center and which extends northerly past Beaufort and southerly to Cressy, and the area located in Victoria’s surf coast district that incorporates Airey’s Inlet, Point Addis Marine National Park, Anglesea and surrounding areas, and extends northerly but excludes Winchelsea (Decision Area 2).

Decision Area 1:

Council had requested EMAC to provide details about the traditional or cultural connection of Eastern Maar People to Decision Area 1, and the basis for EMAC’s assertion that it includes and represents the Traditional Owners of Decision Area 1. Such information was not provided to Council.

In making its decision, Council took into account the information provided by EMAC to support its claim that it represents the Traditional Owners of Decision Area 1. Council also had regard to the competing claims of traditional ownership of this Decision Area and concluded that it was not satisfied that EMAC is a body representing the Traditional Owners of the area.

Decision Area 2:

Decision Area 2 overlaps part of the Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation’s (WAC) RAP area. While acknowledging EMAC’s claim to the Decision Area, Council had regard to WAC’s status as the RAP for Decision Area 2 and WAC’s comments in relation to EMAC’s RAP application and concluded that it was not satisfied that EMAC is a body representing the Traditional Owners of Decision Area 2.

Date of decision: 8 February 2019

Further registration of Taungurung Land and Waters Council Aboriginal Corporation  (TLWCAC) as a Registered Aboriginal Party 

In October 2018, TLWAC entered into a recognition and settlement agreement (RSA) with the State under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010.

In order to align its RSA area with its RAP application area, TLWCAC proposed a small variation to its RAP application area. Council considered this variation and agreed to it at its meeting on 8 February 2019. At the same meeting, Council appointed TLWCAC as a RAP for the part of its RAP application area that aligned with its RSA area (Decision Area). This decision was made pursuant to section 151(2A) of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006, which requires Council to appoint a RAP applicant as a RAP over that part of its RAP application area that lies within the boundaries of its RSA area.

The Decision Area comprises 2 areas. One is a triangular area in the north west of TLWCAC’s RAP area, bound by the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation RAP area, the Campaspe River, and the Bendigo Murchison Road. The other lies between the area over which TLWAC had previously been appointed as a RAP, and the Ovens River.

Reviewed 04 March 2019

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