High Court of Australia

Queensland v Congoo [2015] HCA 17

13 May 2015

Case Number: B39/2014


French CJ, Hayne, Kiefel, Bell, Gageler, Keane JJ


Native title – Native title rights in relation to land – National Security Act 1939 (Cth), s 5(1)(b)(i) provided for making of regulations for securing public safety and defence of Commonwealth and for authorising taking of possession or control, on behalf of Commonwealth, of any property – National Security (General) Regulations 1939 (Cth), reg 54(1) provided that if it appeared to Minister of State for Army to be necessary or expedient to do so in interests of public safety, defence of Commonwealth or efficient prosecution of war, or for maintaining supplies and services essential to life of Commonwealth, Minister could, on behalf of Commonwealth, take possession of any land and give such directions as appeared necessary or expedient in connection with taking possession – Where orders were made under reg 54(1) in relation to land authorising officer to do anything in relation to land that holder of estate in fee simple in land could do and prohibiting all other persons from exercising any right of way over land or any other right relating thereto – Whether orders inconsistent with claimed native title rights and interests – Whether clear and plain legislative intention to extinguish native title rights and interests.

Words and phrases – "clear and plain legislative intention", "exclusive possession", "extinguishment", "inconsistency of rights", "possession".

National Security Act 1939 (Cth) – s 5(1).

National Security (General) Regulations 1939 (Cth) – reg 54.

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