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Australia to appeal court order granting Perth native title to Aborigines

[JURIST] Australian Attorney-General Philip Ruddock [official website] said Thursday that the Australian government plans to appeal [press release] a court decision giving Aborigines native title [NNTT backgrounder] to land in the city of Perth, saying the ruling could prevent non-indigenous people from having access to public parks and beaches in the area. Ruddock said the decision could have implications for several similar native title determination cases that are pending across Australia [JURIST news archive] and noted that there needs to be a "clear understanding among stakeholders as to what the law allows."

The decision [text] last month by Justice Murray Wilcox granted native title to 2,300 square miles of land in Perth to the Noongar people [Wikipedia backgrounder] who were stripped of their property rights during white settlement in 1829. The South-West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council [advocacy website], which represented the Noongar people, expressed dissatisfaction with the government's decision and said the Noongars would prefer to negotiate over the land use rather than enter an appeals process. AFP has more.

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