THE Awabakal and Guringai Aboriginal people have lodged a native title claim over an area that extends from Maitland to Hornsby.
The claim covers one of the most densely populated areas of the state and, if approved, would mean the groups would need to be consulted about significant future development in the affected area.
However, the descendants of the Wonarua and Worimi tribes, who have previously claimed that Newcastle fell within their traditional hunting and cultural footprint, are likely to challenge the claim in the Federal Court.
Documents tabled with the Native Title Tribunal show the claim covers an area controlled by the Awabakal, Bahtabah, Darkinjung and Metropolitan local Aboriginal land councils.
The claim will be the subject of a three-month notification period from October 9.
Groups and individuals who wish to be a party to the claim or challenge it can apply to the Native Title Tribunal during that period.
Representatives of the Awabakal and Guringai people authorised the claim at a meeting at Cameron Park in May.
Guringai people who attended the meeting were required to prove they were descended from, among others, the historical Aboriginal figure King Bungaree and his wives.
Awabakal people needed to show they were descended from Queen Margaret, another traditional Aboriginal figure.
The Newcastle Herald reported at the time that one of the aims of the native title claim was to remove conflict over future land claims.
Neither group would discuss the claim this week.
Worimi tribe descendant Debbie Dates from Carrington said she would challenge the Awabakal-Guringai claim on the basis that its boundary area crossed over into the Worimi area.
‘‘This is Worimi country; it runs all the way to the Hawkesbury River,’’ she said.