Historic Court Ruling Could Boost Indigenous Employment
29 June 2015 at 12:18 pm
An Aboriginal group from Northern Queensland is hoping to boost employment opportunities for their community following an historic Federal Court ruling.
After more than five years of legal battles, the Juru People were awarded native title rights and interests over their traditional lands.
Minister for State Development and Natural Resources and Mines, Anthony Lynham, said the Federal Court in Brisbane recognised the Juru People’s rights over about 7570 hectares of land and waters between Bowen and Ayr.
“This is a powerful statement of recognition of the significant place the Juru People have as custodians of this land,” Lynham said.
“It provides opportunities for the Juru People to realise tangible outcomes including home ownership, employment and other economic and development opportunities.”
The determination recognises exclusive native title rights over approximately 6053 hectares and non-exclusive native title rights over approximately 1516 hectares of land and water extending from Bowen to north of Home Hill and east into the Coral Sea.
Speaking in Brisbane, Chair of the Kyburra Munda Yalga Aboriginal Corporation, Angie Akee, said the determination opened the way for the Juru People to partner with State and Local Government and other stakeholders to further reconciliation.
“We can now preserve our cultural heritage and hold the land in trust for future generations,” Akee said.
“Our main aim now is develop economic and employment opportunities and traineeships for our young people.”
The determination settles a claim made in 2010 by the Juru People and brings the total number of native title determinations in Queensland to 118.
Dr Lynham said the Juru People acknowledged the carpet snake, Gubulla Munda, as the Dreamtime creator of their traditional lands and waters as it travelled north from the Whitsunday area to the Palm Island group of islands.
“Cape Upstart and surrounding areas have special significance for the Juru People as an area traditionally used for hunting and fishing,” he said
“The area has spiritual and cultural significance as a site for ceremonies, births and burials and is a rock art site.”