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Native title success for Dulabed and Malanbarra Yidinji

The Dulabed and Malanbarra Yidinji peoples have been recognised as native title holders in Far North Queensland after negotiating an agreement package with governments and others about their traditional land and water near Cairns.

The groups’ native title rights over 16,460ha of land and waters, 37km south of Cairns, were recognised in a Federal Court consent determination in Gordonvale this morning.

They now have exclusive access to and use of 6,540 ha of unallocated state land and non-exclusive rights over 9,920 ha of reserves and national parks.

The determination follows the negotiation of four indigenous land use agreements (ILUAs) between the native title applicants, Queensland Government, Cairns City Council, Tablelands Council and Ergon Energy, with the National Native Title Tribunal’s mediation assistance.

During negotiations the parties agreed that the Dulabed and Malanbarra Yidinji peoples are the native title holders of this area.  

Tribunal Member, Gaye Sculthorpe, said it had been a long journey for the native title holders but they could now confidently access and use the land and waters where their ancestors hunted and fished, to carry on their traditional activities and customs.

“The Dulabed and Malanbarra Yidinji peoples have a continuing deep connection to this area, which today has been recognised publicly by the Federal Court,” she said. “Today’s outcome not only recognises the rights these groups have always had but, in doing so, demonstrates respect for the native title holders and their forebears.

“As recognised native title holders, and through the agreements they have negotiated with parties, they can look forward to opportunities that were previously out of their reach.  All parties can now move forward, knowing that their rights are protected into the future.”

It is the 84th consent determination made in Australia and the 12th this year. More than half of the consent determinations, 45, have been made in Queensland.