David and Goliath: The Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation vs. Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group

Wednesday, 6 June 2018
Tina Jowett
Vance Hughston
Lyn Cheedy
Pansy Sambo

From 2001 to 2017 the Yindjibarndi People sought to have recognised, over their lands in the Pilbara Region in Western Australia, their native title rights of occupation, use and enjoyment against the whole world. The panel discussion and presentation will describe the bitterly fought battle between the Yindjibarndi on the one hand and the State of WA and Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) on the other. FMG strenuously opposed the native title claim. The talk and panel discussion with Yindjibarndi people will provide some of the background of how the Yindjibarndi successfully navigated the many proceedings in various courts and tribunals that were funded by FMG against the Yindjibarndi. The Yindjibarndi's battle finally culminated in the decision of Justice Rares in Warrie v State of Western Australia [2017] FCA 803 who found that the Yindjibarndi held exclusive possession native title rights. Vance Hughston SC and Tina Jowett, represented the Yindjibarndi in their native title application and will provide a short presentation about the legal issues in the case, the appeal and the future compensation case.