The Federal Court has today recognised native title for the Gangalidda and Garawa peoples in the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Minister for Indigenous Affairs, Nigel Scullion, said the Federal Court has determined in favour of the Gangalidda and Garawa peoples on Native Title rights in Burketown.
“This decision will ensure the Gangalidda and Garawa peoples are able to continue their long held relationship with the land, and reap the economic benefits that native title brings,” he said.
“The Gangalidda and Garawa peoples first lodged these claims in 2004 and 2005 but today’s determinations have been over 15 years in the making.
“It’s a further example of how different levels of government are working together with Indigenous Australians to secure land rights.
“Queensland, Burketown Shire Council and the Commonwealth were all involved in negotiating the claims which build on previous efforts and provide a strong platform for recognition and opportunity for Gangalidda and Garawa people.”
Today’s decision will allow traditional owners to exercise and enjoy their native title rights, and explore opportunities for economic advancement.
The native title claim area near Burketown includes important ceremonial and culturally significant sites.
Currently a large proportion of the native title area is being cared for by the Gangalidda and Garawa Rangers Programme.
Additional rangers were funded by the Commonwealth Government this year under the Programme as part of this Government’s ongoing commitment to support local Indigenous employment and opportunities for local groups to be involved in the protection and conservation of their environment.