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Native title recognition for the Djiru People


The Djiru People have today been recognised as native title holders of 9,440 hectares of land and waters in Mission Beach and surrounding areas including areas of national parks, reserves, unallocated State land and other leases.

At a Federal Court hearing at Mission Beach, Justice John Dowsett made two consent determinations recognising the Djiru People’s native title rights and interests to that area.

These consent determinations finalise the two Djiru People’s claims lodged in 2003. The Djiru People hold exclusive native title rights in relation to about 540 hectares of land. The Federal Court also recognised the Djiru People’s non-exclusive native title rights over about 8900 hectares of land and waters. The non-exclusive rights recognised include the right to access and be present on the area, to hunt, fish and gather on the land and waters of the area for personal, domestic, and non-commercial communal purposes, and to maintain places of importance and areas of significance to the native title holders under their traditional laws and customs.

National Native Title Tribunal Member Dr Gaye Sculthorpe, who assisted the parties to reach agreement, has congratulated all of the negotiation parties on the outcome. “The resolution of these applications results in the formal recognition of the Djiru People’s ancient and ongoing ties to these lands and waters. Several Indigenous Land Use Agreements between the parties set out how the parties’ rights and interests will be carried out on the ground and bring benefits and certainty to the parties involved.

“The successful mediation of these claims involved the participation of numerous persons representing the Djiru People, the State of Queensland, the Commonwealth of Australia, Cassowary Coast Regional Council, Ergon Energy Corporation, and local community associations and other individuals.

“The mediation process involved over 44 mediation conferences convened under the Native Title Act, including a number of site visits. The past 18 months saw extremely intensive mediation undertaken to resolve the fine detail of all agreements,” Dr Sculthorpe said.

“When the parties are willing to work co-operatively, native title outcomes and broader agreements with positive benefits for all parties can be achieved by talking through the issues in mediation.  The agreement-making process establishes positive relationships for co-operative co-existence between native title holders and other interest holders in land and waters. This is the best approach to settling native title.”

Note: There have been 62 determinations of native title in Queensland to date; 56 of these were resolved by consent. There have been 273 Indigenous Land Use Agreements registered with the National Native Title Tribunal in Queensland.
See also the determination brochure which includes a map of the claim area.

Therese Forde
(07) 3307 5000