THE north-west corner of Clontarf Hill is to be transferred to a Noongar land trust as part of WA’s $1.3 billion native title settlement across the South West.
According to the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council, two hectares of the hill off Clontarf Road were offered by the state’s lands department in March amongst a parcel of 353 sites totalling just over 28,000ha.
The land would be held by the Noongar Boodja Trust for “cultural or economic development use” and it was given 40 days to accept the deal before it could be referred to a negotiation with the lands department.
The transfer throws a spanner in the works for Fremantle council’s hopes of taking control of the hill, which has long been earmarked for the Roe Highway extension (either over, through or under) by Main Roads.
Former mayor Brad Pettitt was knocked back when he approached the department about taking over the hill in 2018, which is when the transfer to the Noongar Boodja Trust was first broached.
When the council sought an update in February, they were told the transfer was imminent and to expect consultation over the deal some time this year.
“Clontarf Hill is important for its Aboriginal heritage and forms part of the Manjaree Trail developed by the Noongar community of Fremantle and Cockburn; interpretation signage has been install on site,” a report to the last council meeting noted.
“An application for heritage listing has been made under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 for artefacts/scatter, ceremonial, mythological, natural feature and as a camp and hunting place.
“It is an important Whadjuk Noongar site.”
by STEVE GRANT