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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles
    Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    Celebrating 10 years of Cape York’s land legacy

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Minister for Local Government and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
    The Honourable Mark Furner

    Wednesday, October 25, 2017

    Celebrating 10 years of Cape York’s land legacy

    Ten years on from the introduction of ground-breaking legislation, around 3.6 million hectares of land in Cape York has now been handed back to Traditional Owners.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Minister Mark Furner said the Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act came into effect on 25 October 2007, to support Aboriginal peoples to regain their Cape York homelands.

    “It was a Labor Government that introduced this important legislation and, a decade on, we continue to recognise the important connection our Traditional Owners have to their land,” Mr Furner said. 

    “This legislation supported delivery of the Cape York Land Tenure Resolution Program, which is one of the largest programs of land tenure reform, Aboriginal land rights and conservation in Australia.

    “This unique legislation returns land and supports economic opportunities for First Nations peoples, while protecting Cape York’s iconic landscapes and unique environmental assets.

    “Returning Cape York land to Traditional Owners enables these communities to reconnect with their past, while looking to new employment and business opportunities in areas such as tourism.”

    The Cape York Tenure Resolution Program has created around 2.07 million hectares of Aboriginal-owned national parks, and returned almost 1.53 million hectares of Cape York land outside national parks as freehold.

    National Parks Minister Steven Miles said the Actprovided a strong foundation for Cape York national parks to become jointly-managed, Aboriginal-owned land.

    “Under the Act, Traditional Owners hold Aboriginal freehold title to the land, which will always be managed as a national park,” Dr Miles said.

    “This enables joint management of national park land by Traditional Owners, represented by an Aboriginal Corporation or Land Trust, and the Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing.

    “Lama Lama National Park, south-east of Coen, was the first to be created under the new class in 2008, and there are now 28 jointly-managed national parks in the Cape.”

    Recent land handbacks include Bromley to the Wuthathi, Kuuku Ya’u and Northern Kaanju peoples in 2017, and Shelburne to the Wuthathi people and Sandstone West to the Balnggarr, Muundhi and Magarmagar peoples in 2016.

    As part of the 10th anniversary, Brisbane and Cairns will host a photographic exhibition of conservation, community and cultural outcomes captured by renowned Cape York Peninsula photographer, Kerry Trapnell and others.

    For more information visit www.datsip.qld.gov.au/programs-initiatives/cape-york-peninsula-tenure-resolution-program  

    Media contact: Minister Furner’s office – 0408 317 992