Yorta Yorta NT claim Day 2

Rod Hagen (rodhagen@netspace.net.au)
Fri, 11 Oct 1996 11:17:24 +1000

Yorta Yorta Native Title Claim hearings - Day 2 - Wednesday 9th October, 1996

The Yorta Yorta Native Title Claim hearings continued today in Melbourne,

(The Yorta Yorta / Bangerang are claiming their traditional lands along
the Murray and Goulburn Rivers in northern Victoria and southern NSW).

Barrister for the claimants, Brian Keon-Cohen, continued his opening
address. He tabled extensive documentation in support of the Yorta Yorta
case including archaeological, anthropological, historical , and
genealogical materials outlining the claimants association with the land
from before white settlement to the present day, and statements from 30
Yorta Yorta witnesses who will be called later in the hearing.

He provided examples of the types of evidence the claimants will be
relying on, describing evidence of traditional and contemporary land use,
rights of inheritance and the complex web of relationships which bind the
Yorta Yorta together as a community.

Debate continued about issues such as the confidentiality of genealogical
and other materials. Legal representatives of the Herald Sun Newspaper
(the tabloid newspaper of the Murdoch group in Melbourne) expressed
concern about confidentiality provisions limiting publication of some
materials dealing with family relationships and indicated a desire to be
heard on the matter the following morning.

At the conclusion of the day Justice Olney convened a meeting of Counsel
from the various parties to thrash out the confidentiality issue, and
other issues such as hearing locations and facilities. A draft order
concerning confidentiality was prepared for further discussion the
following morning.

Rod Hagen
Hurstbridge, Victoria, Australia