Australia. Office of the Aboriginal Land Commissioner
Finniss River land claim : report / by the Aboriginal Land Commissioner, 22 May 1981
Call Number
Nq 328.94 AUS
Canberra : Government Printer, 1982
View Catalogue


FINNISS RIVER LAND CLAIM Report by the Aboriginal Land Commissioner 22 May 1981 1
Finniss River Land Claim Report by the Aboriginal Land Commissioner, Mr Justice Toohey, to the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and to the Administrator of the Northern Territory 5
History of the claim 14
Preliminary matters 16
Status of land—grazing licences 17
Grazing licences and estoppel 20
Status ofland—Kangaroo Flats 20
Some general comments on the claim 22
The claim area—a glance at history 24
More history—the Kungarakany, Warai and Maranunggu 26
The claimants 28
‘Aboriginality’ and the Land Rights Act 30
Notion of traditional ownership 34
Principles of descent 37
Traditional Aboriginal owners—the concept 39
The claim area 40
Area 1 41
Area 2 45
Area 3 49
Area 4 50
Area 5 51
Traditional owners—Kungarakany, Warai and Maranunggu 53
Formal findings 55
Functions of Commissioner—Section 50(3) and (4) 60
Strength of attachment 62
Desire to live on the land 63
Recommendations 63
Matters for comment—Number of Aboriginals advantaged 64
Matters for comment—Nature and extent of advantage 65
The notion of detriment 65
Detriment to Aboriginals 66
Detriment—Kangaroo Flats Army Training Area extension 67
Detriment—Commonwealth Railways 68
Detriment—Snake Creek: proposed defence use 69
Detriment—Snake Creek: uranium ore stockpile 69
Detriment—Rum Jungle 70
Detriment—Northern Territory Government: general comments 71
Detriment—solar energy project 71
Northern Territory Government—power supply 74
Northern Territory Government—water resources 75
Northern Territory Government—roads 77
Northern Territory Government—water resources: monitoring stations 77
Access to land 79
Northern Territory Government—proposed solar energy project 79
Northern Territory Government—Rum Jungle—drill core and sheds 80
Northern Territory Government—Overland Telegraph, bridlepath and historic relics 81
Northern Territory Government—Snake Creek 81
Northern Territory Government—Batchelor 82
Residents of Batchelor 82
Recreational use of claim areas 83
Fires 85
Mining tenures: general comments 85
Mining: R A Smith and R J Stone 86
Mining: CRA Services Limited and CRA Exploration Pty Ltd 87
Mining: Marathon Petroleum Australia, Ltd 87
CRA Services—Brown's leases 88
CRA Exploration—Brown's West 89
CRA Services—Area 55 89
CRA Services—Intermediate leases 89
CRA Exploration—Mount Minza-Waterhouse 2 90
CRA Exploration—Stapleton 90
Mining: Peko Wallsend Operations Limited and Electrolytic Zinc Company of Australasia Limited 90
Mining: Uranerz Australia Ptv Ltd 92
Mining: J. C. Walton 95
Grazing licences 96
Miscellaneous lease No. 581—E. K. and M. J. Kerle 96
Special purposes lease No. 453—Wairia Association Inc. 96
Area 1 GL2093 W. A. Townsend 97
Area 2 GL2080 Finniss River Cattle Co. 97
Area 3 GL2100 E. K. and M. J. Kerle 98
GL2084 Meneling Station Pty Ltd 98
GL2095 R. E. and A. Bright 98
GL2098 D. A. Hanna 98
Applications pending over land claimed 99
Area 4 GL2102 D. J., L. A. and R. J. Mackay 99
GL2101 G. w. McClelland 99
Occupation licences 99
M. Von Erwin 100
Northern Territory Cattle Producers Council 100
Summary of findings, recommendations and comments 100
List of Exhibits 106
Exhibit 4: Map showing approximate location of existing and proposed powerlines 115
Exhibit 10: Map showing mining interests within claim area 116
Exhibits 11A and 12 (modified): Map of proposed Finniss River-Batchelor Dam catchment area and monitoring stations 117
Exhibit 27: Map showing tribal boundaries 118
Exhibit 59: Map of Maranunggu sites accompanying Dr P.J. Sutton's report 119
Exhibit 87: Map of maintained roads within claim area 120
Exhibit 152: Peko-Ez-Woodcutters map 121



Citation options:
Work identifier

APA citation

Australia. Office of the Aboriginal Land Commissioner. (1982). Finniss River land claim : report Retrieved October 30, 2020, from

MLA citation

Australia. Office of the Aboriginal Land Commissioner. Finniss River land claim : report Canberra: Government Printer, 1982. Web. 30 October 2020 <>

Harvard/Australian citation

Australia. Office of the Aboriginal Land Commissioner. 1982, Finniss River land claim : report Government Printer, Canberra viewed 30 October 2020

Wikipedia citation

  | author1=Australia. Office of the Aboriginal Land Commissioner.
  | title=Finniss River land claim : report
  | year=1982
  | section=x, 107 pages : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
  | isbn=0644018747
  | series=Parliamentary paper (Australia. Parliament) ;
  | issue=PP no. 130 of 1981
  | location=Canberra
  | publisher=Government Printer
  | url=
  | id=nla.obj-1473912192
  | access-date=30 October 2020
  | via=Trove

Citations are automatically generated and may require some modification to conform to exact standards.


Select the pages you want to download, or the whole document.

Available formats
TIF high resolution

Or select a range of pages:


You can order a copy of this work from Copies Direct.

Copies Direct supplies reproductions of collection material for a fee. This service is offered by the National Library of Australia


Or select a range of pages:


Share on Twitter

Share on Facebook

What can I do with this?

In Copyright

Reason for copyright status
Until 2032 [Created/Published Date + 50 Years]

You may have full rights to copy, or may be able to copy only under some circumstances, for example a portion for research or study. Contact us for further information about copying.

Copyright status was determined using the following information:

Material type
Literary Dramatic Musical
Published status
Publication date
Government copyright ownership
Australia - Federal/national

Copyright status may not be correct if data in the record is incomplete or inaccurate.

For more information please see: how copyright status is determined.