The Kimberley Land Council's Nolan Hunter says Aboriginal people have to fight for the rights that they get recognised for. ABC News: Ben Collins

Australia - High Court to determine Aboriginal right to exclude public from popular camping beaches

The Federal Court of Australia has already decided that beaches north of Broome are the exclusive possession of native title holders and, although they are popular camping and fishing areas, the public does not have a legal right of access.

But that decision is being appealed in the High Court by the Federal and WA Governments, and the outcome will be the final word on whether native title can trump public access on an Australian beach.

The High Court is expected to hear the appeal later this year.

Time for change

CEO of the Kimberley Land Council (KLC) Nolan Hunter said the idea that the beach belongs to no-one was a hangover from terra nullius and our colonial history of not recognising Aboriginal ownership of land.

"This is about how the people should not take it for granted that Aboriginal people are just here to be abused, or taken advantage of, or dispossessed," Mr Hunter said.

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Read also Exclusive beach access for native title holders heading to High Court (SBS News, Dec 3, 2019)