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Jenny Humphris

Expertise

Jenny specialises in the area of native title and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage law, representing local governments, government corporations, developers, pastoral holders and other public and private entities as respondent parties to the majority of native title claims in Queensland and New South Wales. She also regularly provides advice on the native title and Aboriginal cultural heritage implications of government and private infrastructure projects.

Jenny is recognised in the 2016-2021 Doyles Guide and the 2018-2021 Who’s Who Legal: Australia and New Zaland as a recommended lawyer in Native Title Law in Australia. She was also recognised in the 2022 Doyles Guides as a leading lawyer in Native Title. 

Experience

Native title proceedings

  • representing respondent parties to the majority of native title proceedings in the Federal Court in Queensland and New South Wales 
  • providing technical and strategic advice on how best to protect and preserve a party’s interests in native title proceedings
  • appearing in the Federal Court, at case management conferences, mediations and in private negotiations 
  • commencing non-claimant applications in the Federal Court
  • representing parties in contested native title hearings.

Native title project advice

  • providing native title due diligence and assessment advice to public and private entities for infrastructure projects and the acquisition and development of land
  • negotiating indigenous land use agreements for the construction of public and private sector infrastructure, changing and granting land tenure 
  • advice upon and the preparation of future act notices for the validation of activities that affect native title under the Native Title Act 1993
  • advising on whether native title exists or has been extinguished by tenure or public works 
  • assisting public entities to compulsorily acquire native title to facilitate projects, where appropriate
  • training of management and staff on native title legal compliance requirements.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage

  • providing advice to public and private proponents of activities and development in Queensland to address their duty of care under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld) and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld) when undertaking activities on land or waters in Queensland
  • drafting and negotiating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage management plans and agreements to address the duty of care and ensure harm is avoided or minimised
  • providing advice in relation to potential or threatened cultural heritage proceedings
  • representing parties in the Land Court
  • facilitating training of management and staff on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage legal compliance requirements.

Indigenous land dealings

  • advice on land dealings and tenure grants under various relevant indigenous land legislation including the Aboriginal Land Act 1991, Torres Strait Islander Land Act 1991, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Holding Act 2013 and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Justice, Land and Other Matters) Act 1984
  • advice on the powers and responsibilities of trustees of reserve land and the transferability of trust land
  • drafting and advising on the grant of Aboriginal freehold and home ownership leases under the Aboriginal Land Act 1991, social housing leases under the Housing Act 2003, trustee leases, trustee permits, easements and licenses under the Land Act 1994 and the grant of “Katter” leases under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Landholding Act 2013.

Government advisory

  • advising on numerous governance issues including meeting procedures, resolutions, powers and responsibilities of local governments, delegations and authorised person appointments and powers under the Local Government Act 2009
  • drafting and providing advice on local laws and subordinate local laws.

Renewable energy

  • providing advice on the effect of the development of land or waters of renewable projects on native title and strategies for compliance
  • advising on how to meet the duty of care under the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld) and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Heritage Act 2003 (Qld) when undertaking renewable projects
  • drafting and negotiating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage management plans and agreements with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parties including strategies for engagement
  • advice on the implications of cultural heritage database and register entries.

Relevant recent matters

  • providing advice on the native title implications of the Goondiwindi Regional Council’s wastewater to hydrogen project (2021)
  • providing native title due diligence advice  for the sublease of a pastoral holding for the development of a solar farm (2021)
  • negotiating cultural heritage management plans with the Western Wakka Wakka and Barunggam People to facilitate the development of a wind turbine farm near Jindowae in South Qld (2021)
  • negotiating a cultural heritage management plan on behalf of a private developer for a 100 lot residential sub-division near Rochedale (2021)
  • negotiating a cultural heritage management plan for Scenic Rim Regional Council for the Beaudesert Business Park Project 2020)
  • negotiating a cultural heritage management plan for the Logan Water Infrastructure Alliance for the Cedar Creek Sewerage Treatment Plant and Pipeline (2018)
  • advising a major NSW based local government on native title implications of a City re-development project (2019-ongoing)
  • negotiating a cultural heritage management plan on behalf of Defence Housing Australia for its 180 lot Aulds Road, Ripley residential development (2018)
  • negotiating a cultural heritage management plan on behalf of a private developer for a 300 lot residential sub-division near Jimboomba (2019)
  • negotiating numerous (over 35) indigenous land use agreements on behalf of local governments and private proponents including a cultural heritage management agreement to facilitate  various infrastructure projects (2010 – ongoing)
  • negotiating over 30 indigenous land use agreements on behalf of Ergon Energy, an electricity distribution entity, as part of the resolution of its interests in native title proceedings (2010-ongoing)
  • representing appellant in the Land Court proceedings: Dorante v Minister for Natural Resources and Mines and Ors; Sabatino v Minister for Natural Resources and Mines and Ors [2017] QLC 15. Our clients’ appeal was allowed which facilitates the grant to our clients of a lease pursuant to their lease entitlement under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Land Holding Act) 2013 (2017)
  • representing a respondent to the Supreme Court challenge of the Land Court decision: Pearson Wigness and Ors v Kingham,
  • President of the Land Court and Ors BS 6142/17 and 6145/17.  The application was dismissed and the Land Court decision upheld (2017)
  • negotiating an indigenous land use agreement on behalf of Pormpuraaw Aboriginal Shire Council over the township to facilitate business development, home ownership, construction of social housing and delivery of government infrastructure (2016).

Publications

08 December 2021 - Knowledge

National Native Title Tribunal decides a mining lessee has not negotiated in good faith

#Native Title & Indigenous Cultural Heritage, #Construction, Infrastructure & Projects

The National Native Title Tribunal has dismissed a mining lessee’s application to be granted a mining lease because they failed to act in good faith when negotiating with the affected native title holders.

08 November 2021 - Knowledge

Spotlight on cultural heritage law reform following Aboriginal heritage destruction at Juukan Gorge

#Native Title & Indigenous Cultural Heritage

The Joint Standing Committee on Northern Australia has released its final report into the destruction of culturally significant caves at Juukan Gorge, which suggests eight key recommendations for reform to cultural heritage laws in Australia.

02 June 2021 - Knowledge

Environment Minister has a duty of care to protect Australian children from climate change harms, Federal Court rules

#Planning, Environment & Sustainability, #Government

In a world-first judgment, the Federal Court of Australia has found that the Commonwealth Environment Minister owes Australian children a duty of care to protect them from harms associated with climate change. We highlight the key takeaways from this decision and discuss what it means for future cases.

01 June 2021 - Knowledge

Federal Court rules no native title exists on two leasehold properties

#Native Title & Indigenous Cultural Heritage

Two Queensland leaseholders have successfully obtained a Federal Court order that native title does not exist over their properties, paving the way for a freehold conversion.

19 May 2021 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

The Morrison Government will earmark an additional $250 million for a sixth round of Building Better Regions Fund in next week’s federal budget. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack made the announcement in a speech at Rockhampton on Wednesday, where he thanked local government for the job “you are doing on behalf of your local communities.”

23 March 2021 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government, #Native Title & Indigenous Cultural Heritage

The Federal Court of Australia has struck out two native title compensation claims due to lack of specificity.

15 December 2020 - Knowledge

Federal Court examines ambit of model litigant principles in Queensland

#Government, #Native Title & Indigenous Cultural Heritage

A recent Federal Court native title decision has rejected a challenge to the State’s decision not to recognise native title based on a breach of model litigant principles.

15 December 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

We wrap-up the latest news, legislation and developments relevant to local governments.

19 October 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

The Treasurer says the 2020 budget will help rebuild the economy by building more roads, rail and bridges.

28 July 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

It will take many years to restore the economy and infrastructure of bushfire-impacted areas and for their animal and vegetation biodiversity to recover. The Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook: July 2020 will be used by fire authorities to make strategic decisions such as resource planning and prescribed fire management to reduce the negative impacts of bushfire.

16 June 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

In this edition, we examine FMG’s failed challenge of the Western Australia’s Yindjibarndi people’s exclusive native title rights.

20 May 2020 - Knowledge

Inside track: Local Government

#Local Government

Local Government Areas hit by the 2019-20 bushfires and Covid-19 restrictions may experience GDP declines of up to 23 per cent, a new report suggests

Upcoming Seminars