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Githabul People to benefit from indigenous land use agreement

The largest indigenous land use agreement (ILUA)* ever made in New South Wales will be celebrated this morning, delivering employment opportunities, freehold land and co-management of national parks to the Githabul People.

The Githabul People and NSW Government have settled the NSW part of the group's native title claim involving 112,000 hectares of national parks and State forests in the Kyogle, Woodenbong and Tenterfield area.

The ILUA is a step towards a consent determination that will recognise the Githabul People's native title rights and interests.

Following registration of the ILUA the parties will apply to the Federal Court for a consent determination which will enable the Githabul People to practise their traditional laws and customs including the right to access and camp on the areas, as well as hunt, fish and gather plants for personal use.

National Native Title Tribunal Member, John Sosso, who assisted the parties through mediation, said negotiations had proceeded smoothly and effectively due to the good working relationship between the parties, especially the Githabul and their representatives and the NSW Government.

‘The Githabul People and the NSW Government have conducted open and practical negotiations which provide a template for future successful native title agreements not only in NSW but elsewhere in Australia, ’ he said.

‘As a result the parties have achieved certainty about the future of the claimed area and a commitment to work together to manage and protect the 10 national parks and 13 State forests in the agreement area. The wider community will still be able to access and enjoy these public lands. ’

The agreement includes the freehold transfer of 20 parcels of public land, approximately 102 hectares, to the Githabul Corporation as well as the creation of jobs with the Department of Environment and Conservation.

The State Government has gained assurance that the benefits in the agreement are the full and final compensation to the Githabul People in the agreement area.<BR.
Mr Sosso said many groups across Australia had negotiated agreements to resolve native title, with 267 ILUAs currently on the Tribunal's Register.<BR.
* ILUAs are voluntary, legally binding agreements about the use and management of land, made between Indigenous groups and others with interests in a particular area.

For more information see the Tribunal's backgrounder and map at

Map of ILUA
Nicolette Kormendy
08 9268 7315