A 13 year native title dispute over 2826 square kilometres of land around Cape York Peninsula has ended with the Federal Court recognising two native title claims.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said the first determination, delivered in Cairns yesterday, recognises native title for the Wuthathi, Kuuku Ya’u and Northern Kaanju peoples for the ‘Bromley’ claim.
A second determination, made in Cairns today, recognises exclusive native title for the Wuthathi peoples for the Wuthathi claim.
“These decisions will ensure the Wuthathi, Kuuku Ya’u and Northern Kaanju peoples are able to continue their long-held relationship with the land and water as well as obtaining the economic benefits that native title brings,” Minister Scullion said.
“It’s a further example of how different levels of government are working together with First Australians to secure rights to land.
The claims, first lodged in 2002, were made after all parties to the claims, including the State Government and Cook Shire Council, reached an agreement.
“These two determinations bring to a close 13 years of contesting the disputed land,” Minister Scullion said.
“The ‘white sands’ of Shelburne Bay included in the Wuthathi claim are of national environmental and cultural significance.
“It is now more than 20 years since the Native Title Act became law and this is an excellent example of how it can operate to provide economic independence and opportunity through native title.”
Today’s determination is the third this month that recognises the traditional owners of land in North Queensland.
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2015-04-29 MR 13 year Battle for Cape York land settled.pdf