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The Gove Case
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Web video - requires <a href="">QuickTime</a> <br> <a href="#transcript">Transcript here</a>

After four years of trying to stop bauxite mining on the Gove Peninsula, the Yolngu people took the Federal Government, and the Nabalco Mining Company, to the Northern Territory Supreme Court.

This was the first time aboriginal people had taken such court action.

The Yolngu claimed the mine was illegal because it was on their land and they hadn't approved it.

In 1971, Justice Blackburn rejected their claim, stating that while Yolngu 'customary law' included rules about land ownership, it had no legal significance, and so Australian governments were not bound by it.

Prime Minister, William McMahon, responded, promising a policy statement on Aboriginal access to land. The statement, when it was finally released, disappointed many indigenous Australians and their supporters.
Crown Land
colonisation, doctrine of tenure, indigenous Australians, International law, native title, New South Wales, sovereignty, terra nullius
Land Bilong Islanders & Gove
bark petition, Blackburn, Justice, Gove, Gove Case, Land Bilong Islanders, Marika, Roy, McIntyre, Greg, Nabalco, Northern Territory, Supreme Court USA, Yirrkala
Pain for this land...
Blackburn, Justice, Gove, Gove Case, land ownership, Marika, Roy, McIntyre, Greg, Nabalco, Northern Territory, Yirrkala
Gove Case
aborigines, Blackburn, Justice, Gove, Gove Case, Gove Peninsula, McIntyre, Greg, Nabalco, Yirrkala
Gove Peninsula Land Rights Case
Sep, 1, 1970
Australia, claim, Gove, Gove Case, land rights, Nabalco, Yirrkala
Yirrkala & Gove
bark petition, Gove, industry, land rights, Marika, Roy, mining, Nabalco, Yunupingu, Galarrwuy
International Comparisons
British law, Canada, colonialism, Common Law, High Court of Australia, Mabo Case, native title, New Zealand (Aotearoa), United States of America
US Domestic Dependent Nation Doctrine
indigenous people, International law, treaties, United States of America
Belonging To Country
aborigines, Australia, dreamtime, indigenous Australians, land ownership, land rights, sacred
Dr. H. C. (Nugget) Coombs
Image and Text
Jun, 19, 1992
1967 referendum, Arnhem Land, Coombs, Dr. H.C. (Nugget), Gove, Gove Case, land rights, Northern land Council, Northern Territory, Yirrkala, Yolgnu, Yunupingu, Galarrwuy
Public reaction to Gove decision
Apr, 29, 1971
Blackburn judgement, Blackburn, Justice, crown land, First Fleet, Gove, Gove Case, land rights, Milirrpum v Nabalco Pty Ltd, 1971 , mining, Nabalco, Northern Territory, terra nullius, Yirrkala, Yolgnu
2nd Yirrkala petition
Image and Text
May, 6, 1971
Gove, Gove Case, land rights, McMahon, William, mining, Northern Territory, Yirrkala
colonisation, dispossession
activism, land rights, land rights, resistance, strike, unionism
Terra Nullius & Australia
crown land, dispossession, doctrine of tenure, First Fleet, land rights, resistance, terra nullius
The Gove Decision Questioned
Arnhem Land, Australian Court Case, bark petition, Blackburn, Justice, Canada, Gove, Gove Case, land rights, Milirrpum v Nabalco Pty Ltd, 1971 , mining, Nabalco, Northern Territory, Yirrkala
The Status Of Australian Colonies
crown land, land ownership, sovereignty, terra nullius
Gove Peninsula People At Court
Arnhem Land, bark petition, Gove, Gove Case, Northern Territory, Yirrkala