A fight against paying rates on ancient homelands

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NITV News - March 2013

Both the Euahlayi and the Murrawarri Nations have joined in a combined effort to fight against paying rates on their ancient homelands. This is an issue that has arisen as a consequence of the Brewarrina Shire Council seeking payment of rates for services on their ancient homelands.

When filing the Euahlayi defence, the Registrar the NSW Civil and Equity court in the Downing Court centre in Sydney accepted that there are a number of constitutional questions that have been raised in the defence . The conclusion of the Registrar is that this matter now has to be referred to the Federal Attorney-General under 78B of the Commonwealth Judiciary Act. This will require the Federal Attorney-General to consult with the State and Territory Attorneys-General to decide on how they intend for this matter to be dealt with.

By the Registrar of the Civil and Equities court in Sydney referring this matter under 78B of the Judiciary Act demonstrates that this matter is beyond the scope and jurisdiction of the State courts, including the Supreme Court of NSW.