According to a report in today’s Cairns Post, the Federal Court of Australia has made a consent determination, handing over a major management role of 126,000 hectares in the Daintree, to the Eastern Kuku Yalanji native title holders.
The determination has resulted in a major reconfiguration of land ownership and management arrangements across a complex array of World Heritage tenures.
The report states that 33,300-hectares of state-owned land has been declared for the exclusive occupation and use of the native title-holders. 96,600-hectares has been recognised for non-exclusive rights, including rights to the water and to fish and hunt in the water, the right to camp, hunt, gather resources for personal (non-commercial) needs and to conduct ceremonies. 16,500-hectares of Aboriginal freehold land has also been declared for residential and economic development.
The determination took over thirteen years to finalise. A range of benefits, negotiated under the broader indigenous land use package, will include a greater role in managing parks and reserves and a veritable doubling of national park estate between Cooktown and Mossman.