Darwin's largest Aboriginal group the Larrakia Nation could mount another Native Title case following this week's landmark High Court decision awarding compensation for cultural loss.
The decision to grant $2.5 million in compensation to the Ngaliwurru and Nungali people of the small Northern Territory town of Timber Creek is being described as the most significant since the landmark Wik and Mabo land rights decisions.
That is because more than half of the money - $1.3 million - applies to a cultural loss as opposed to an economic one and a spiritual connection to the land, which is unprecedented.
The interim CEO of the powerful Darwin-based Northern Land Council, Jack Ah Kit, said he agreed with the views of legal experts that Wednesday's decision would lead to larger claims around Australia totalling at least hundreds of millions of dollars.
However he said, "I'd like to ask people to think about this as a fair outcome".
The High Court judgment described the cultural loss as "gut-wrenching pain and deep or primary emotions accompanied by anxiety" for the Timber Creek native title holders.
Mr Ah Kit said the Larrakia people - who ran several unsuccessful native title claims until former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull handed back land near Darwin - may now wish to approach the NLC to place another claim.
The court did cut the amount the NT government must pay to the Ngaliwurru and Nungali people after it built infrastructure and tried to sell land for commercial development without consultation.
The original payout ordered by the Federal Court for cultural loss, economic loss and related interest was $3.3 million.
The final amount followed an earlier Federal Court appeal decision which reduced it to $2.9 million.
The land measures around 1.26 square kilometres. The remainder compensates for economic loss and interest.
The High Court reduced the economic value of the compensation to 50 per cent of the freehold value of the land, despite the Timber Creek native title holders saying it should be 100 per cent.
This followed a NT government and Commonwealth appeal.
Timber Creek, in the Victoria River district, is a tiny town of about 250 people, about 600km south of Darwin.
"In some cases, especially where sacred sites have been damaged in the past, the amount of compensation could be quite substantial," Mr Ah Kit said in a statement.
"But the first step will always be to try and agree to compensation without litigation, and the High Court's judgment shows the way forward for collaborative outcomes."
International law firm Ashurst said more case law work would be done to understand how the High Court ruling impacts on native title compensation for mining projects, agricultural developments and pastoral leases.
"It is likely that nationally, the liability for native title compensation will run into the billions of dollars," Ashurst partner Tony Denholder said.