Shoalhaven City Council will apply to join proceedings on a South Coast Native Title claim in the Federal Court.
“Shoalhaven City Council has been advised of the commencement of the Native Title claim in the Federal Court and has been provided with the relevant documentation to apply to be joined as a party to the proceedings,” a council spokesperson said.
“This application must go before the court for determination.
“We intend to apply to the court to join the proceedings.”
An historic claim for native title from Nowra to Eden is ready to be lodged with the Federal Court of Australia.
The South Coast claim was registered with the National Native Title Tribunal on January 31 and public notices are being prepared.
It will be advertised in the Koori Mail and other media outlets, so anyone with an interest in the claim area can become a party to the application.
One of 12 claimants listed is from Narooma.
He said the successful registration immediately required government departments to consult with the claimants on any development or land use projects.
It also meant the claimants would have a greater say in management of the land and sea, whether through National Parks or NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), including the Fisheries department.
Mr Stewart said it was exciting the tribunal had found sufficient evidence for the claim to go before the court for determination.
“It will be going to court because it is proven that we have sufficient evidence that our people have been living off the land and ocean for at least 21,000 years,” Mr Stewart said.
“It’s very exciting that it we are going to be recognised and that enough evidence exists to support our claim.”
The next step was for the claimants to discuss further gathering of evidence and start preparing a brief for the Federal Court with the assistance of the Native Title Services Corporation (NTSCORP).
The claim is huge, covering about 14,000 square kilometres and the entire South Coast, from Bundeena in the north to south of Eden, west towards Braidwood and also extends 3 nautical miles into ocean.
The claim does not affect freehold land but does extend to National Parks, State Forests, council land and Crown land.
The corporation held a meeting in Narooma back in December 2016 to discuss the application. The meeting drew more than 500 people from up and down the South Coast, from 52 family groups.
The applicants will now continue to collate and review of anthropological and historical research, and discussions about the identity of the claim group, conditions to be imposed and and desired outcomes of the native title application.