The Federal Court of Australia has today recognised the Wanyurr Majay People’s Native Title rights and interests over approximately 200 square kilometres of land near Babinda, south of Cairns.
Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt attended today’s declaration on behalf of Natural Resources Minister Rachel Nolan.
“I am delighted to celebrate the recognition of the Wanyurr Majay People’s Native Title rights and interest in their traditional lands,” Mr Pitt said.
“This determination will allow the Wanyurr Majay People to use the land for hunting, fishing and gathering purposes and to conduct ceremonies and carry out cultural activities.
“They will also be able to maintain areas of significance under their traditional laws and customs and protect those places from physical harm.”
Ms Nolan said today’s determination was the result of a claim first made by the Wanyurr Majay People in September 2008.
She said the claim consisted of 15 parcels of land including reserves, areas of unallocated State land and part of the Woonoorooran National Park.
“The Wanyurr Majay People, the Wanyurr Majay Aboriginal Corporation, the Queensland Government and the Wet Tropics Management Authority have entered into an Indigenous Land Use Agreement to ensure the quality management of the national park,” Ms Nolan said.
“This agreement allows the Wanyurr Majay People to camp and hunt in Woonoorooran National Park and use it to teach the physical and spiritual attributes of the area.
“Using Woonoorooran National Park in these ways will reaffirm the Wanyurr Majay People’s age old commitment to preserving their land and its conservation values.”
Minister Pitt said today’s native title determination was the 60th in Queensland and the 54th determination by consent.
“These determinations are the result of much hard work and substantial negotiations and are important in preserving indigenous culture and identity,” Mr Pitt said.
“This is an achievement that all Queenslanders can be proud of.”