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Gangalidda & Garawa people seek native title in north west Queensland

People with interests in a far north-west Queensland area where the Gangalidda and Garawa peoples have a native title claim may be able to join in talks about how their rights will co-exist.

The National Native Title Tribunal is placing advertisements in the Courier Mail, the North West Star and the Koori Mail to let people know about the native title application.

Tribunal regional manager, Mr Karl Manning, said the Gangalidda and Garawa peoples had lodged a native title application with the Federal Court over a 13,799 square kilometre area extending from the Queensland - Northern Territory border to Burketown in the east. An area of sea was also included.

‘People with interests in this area who want to work out how their rights may coexist with native title holders can apply to the Federal Court to become a registered party,’ he said.

‘If the Federal Court agrees they have interests in the area and decides to refer the application to the Tribunal for mediation, they will have the opportunity to participate in meetings with the applicants and other parties.

‘The Tribunal conducts these meetings, aiming to resolve issues and reach voluntary agreements that respect everyone's rights and interests.’

The Tribunal registered the Gangalidda and Garawa peoples' native title application on 7 April 2005. The claimed area falls within the local government areas of Burke Shire Council and Doomadgee Aboriginal Council.

Not all areas of land and water within the applications' external boundaries are claimed: for example, the application excludes private freehold land. In almost all cases native title rights, if recognised by the court, would co-exist with existing land uses.

Any person or organisation with an interest in the claim has until 14 September 2005 to apply to the Registrar of the Federal Court to become a party to the application.

Nicolette Kormendy
07 3226 8245