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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie


    Premier and Minister for Trade
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Thursday, June 07, 2007


    Premier Peter Beattie announced today that agreement had been reached on one of the most significant land management initiatives in the history of Queensland.

    “After months of negotiation between our Government the indigenous community, conversation interests, the mining industry and the pastoral industry we have reached agreement on the resolution of outstanding land tenure and management issues on our beautiful Cape York Peninsula,” Mr Beattie said.

    “The agreement reaches common ground between indigenous and non–indigenous people and between conservation and development interests.

    “It is a framework for the future to undertake ecologically sustainable development in the region.”

    For indigenous communities it will:

    • Create a new class of protected area that will enable national parks to be created over Aboriginal land without the need for lease-back arrangements and provide a simple, cheaper alternative to land tenure processes;

    • Designate Indigenous Community Use areas within Aboriginal land that are suitable for aquaculture, agriculture or grazing purposes and create, for those areas, a limited capacity for clearing under the Vegetation Management Act 1999;

    • Create the ability for land trusts with land in national parks to form sub regional aggregations for the purposes of negotiating resources and management;

    • Allow the commercial use of crocodile products derived from eggs collected from the wild as part of a scientific study into viability of this activity on western Cape York Peninsula. This initiative will be subject to review after one year of operations;

    • Identify resources for an indigenous arts program and assessment of other economic development opportunities;

    • Provide for the protection of native title rights in the Wild Rivers Act 2000; and

    • Establish an Aboriginal environmental rangers program whose responsibility will include management on wild rivers.

    For conservation interests it will:

    • Designate ‘Areas of International Conservation Significance’ to give initial recognition to World Heritage values and development of integrated management plans for national parks and nature refuges in these areas;

    • Remove impediments to the declaration of national parks through the establishment of joint management arrangements with indigenous landowners; and

    • Provide a way forward to achieve the declaration of wild rivers in Cape York Peninsula.

    For the pastoral industry it will:

    • Provide an ability for lessees to access rural lease terms of up to 75 years if they take action to protect world heritage values and enter into an Indigenous Land Use Agreement concerning use and access rights for traditional owners;

    • Require that the Minister for Natural Resources and Water consider the impact on the Cape York grazing industry of any decision to transfer a lease or to convert the lease to another tenure in the interests of ensuring that a viable grazing industry remains part of the Cape York future economy.

    In implementing this legislation, the Minister for Natural Resources and Water and Minister for Environment and Multiculturalism will consult with an Advisory Committee comprising all key stakeholder interests including Aboriginal people, pastoralists, conservation interests, mining interests, tourism and local government

    Mr Beattie said many organisations had contributed to the historic agreement including the Cape York Land Council, the Wilderness Society, the Australian Conservation Foundation, Agforce and the Queensland Resources Council.

    “Through a spirit of endeavour and cooperation I believe we have put in place a blueprint for a new future in the Cape York Peninsula,” he said.

    7 June, 2007

    Further inquiries: Premier’s Office: 3224 4500