Managing the Impact of Timber Creek

View Authors November 2016

The decision in Griffths v Northern Territory of Australia (No 3) [2016] FCA 900 has created a slight headache for the Northern Territory and Commonwealth Government for their future infrastructure plans.

Not because the entitlement to compensation for the extinguishment and impairment of native title is something that no one was aware of. That is not the case. The right of native title claimants to compensation for extinguishment of native title has always existed in the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth).

The reason is because it finally provides some clarity around the methodology of calculating compensation. This is the first time this has occurred. The award of AU$3.3 million is some way off what was being sought by the native title holders – up to AU$22 million – but it is still a not insubstantial sum of money.