Legislative Council: Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Barngarla People, Litigation

In reply to the Hon. T.A. FRANKS ().27 September 2022).

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): I have been advised:

The proceedings referred to were both initiated by the Barngarla, and the state incurred legal costs defending or negotiating outcomes in them.

The work on the Port Augusta matter for the state was carried out by the native title team of the Crown Solicitor's Office as part of their standard work in a jurisdiction where costs orders are not usually made. That work has not been costed.

The work in the Lake Torrens Kelaray matter was undertaken during the term of the previous government and the state's costs were approximately $150,000, including counsel. The state has agreed with the Barngarla, subject to the outcome of the appeal now brought by Kelaray, its liability under costs orders in the matter for payment of Barngarla's legal costs.

The state of South Australia has determined not to intervene in the Barngarla's constitutional challenge against the commonwealth in respect of the nuclear waste facility. This was informed by advice from the Solicitor-General.

South Australian Labor has long had a position that the Barngarla people should have a right of veto over the nuclear waste facility proposed to be built on their land. Given that this is a commonwealth project, it is ultimately a matter for the commonwealth to determine.