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Now to the story...

Yorta Yorta claim 'washed away by history': court

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 12 Dec 2002

The High Court has dismissed the native title claim of Victoria's Yorta
Yorta people.

The court ruled the native title rights of the Yorta Yorta have been
"washed away by the tide of history".

The Yorta Yorta's claim included 2,000 square kilometres of land and
waterways near Echuca on the Victorian and New South Wales border.

The court upheld an earlier Federal Court decison that the Yorta Yorta's
claim to the land ceased when their forebears no longer occupied it.

Yorta Yorta corporation manager Monica Morgan says the justice system has
failed the Aboriginal people.

"You are evaluating our history and culture on the ethnocentric evaluation
of your history," she said.

The ruling is expected to clarify other native title cases which are still
to be resolved.

ATSIC chairman Geoff Clarke says the decision is a miscarriage of justice.

"I think it's the sorriest day in this country's history," he said.

"The fact is you've now stolen the future of the grandchildren of the
Yorta Yorta people's right to enjoy their culture and tradition."



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