Two representatives from the National Native Title Tribunal addressed a public information session in Babinda last night at the invitation of the Babinda Taskforce.
Tribunal member Ms Ruth Wade and case manager Ms Jane Holden responded to the Taskforce's invitation to provide information about native title to interested people from the Babinda area.
Ms Wade said she was pleased that the Babinda Taskforce was providing local people with an opportunity to find out more about native title and to raise questions and concerns they may have.
"The Australian legal system now provides for the recognition and protection of native title," Ms Wade said. "The National Native Title Tribunal helps people to work through native title issues together and make agreements which will provide practical, on-the-ground outcomes."
Ms Wade commented: "The best way forward is for people to sit down in an atmosphere of mutual respect and work out an agreement that suits them and their local circumstances."
Representatives of the Ngadjon-Jii People from the Bartle Frere area and the North Queensland Land Council also addressed the meeting.
Ngadjon-Jii elder Mr Ernie Raymont said: "Ngadjon-Jii people recognise and respect the legitimate rights and interests of all people in the claim area and consider it very important for the strength and vitality of the whole community that every person's rights should be recognised and respected by others".
The National Native Title Tribunal is an independent body set up under the Federal Government's Native Title Act 1993. It works closely with communities across Australia to help resolve land issues and make agreements that recognise everyone's rights and interests in land and waters. The Tribunal conducts mediation of native title applications and can help negotiate indigenous land use agreements.