Published Thursday, 10 July, 2008 at 06:58 PM

Minister for Natural Resources and Water and Minister Assisting the Premier in North Queensland
The Honourable Craig Wallace

The Bligh Government has today handed back three areas of land to the Lama Lama people of Cape York Peninsula and signed historic agreements establishing a national park on Aboriginal land in Queensland.

Natural Resources and Water Minister Craig Wallace presented the Lama Lama people with titles for Running Creek (Yaakarru) and Lilyvale (Tuulwa) Aboriginal freehold land (74,940 hectares) and Lama Lama National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land) (35,560 hectares).

“Granting Aboriginal land and agreeing to the co-operative management of the national park is a positive step towards reconciliation by recognising past Indigenous connection to the land,” Mr Wallace said.

“Today’s ceremony is symbolic of the shared commitment of all the parties and is a tangible result of the strong relationship forged by the Cape York Heads of Agreement to achieve tenure resolution through negotiation and respect.”

Sustainability, Climate Change and Innovation Minister Andrew McNamara said the Lama Lama National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land), south-east of Coen, would be managed by the Lama Lama Land Trust and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Ministers and representatives of the Lama Lama people signed Indigenous Land Use Agreements which provides for the consent of the native title parties to the transfer of land for parts of the former Running Creek and Lilyvale properties as well as other agreed outcomes for the area.

The Ministers and the Lama Lama Land Trust then signed an Indigenous Management Agreement that sets out how the park will be managed.

Mr McNamara said the Indigenous Management Agreement addressed a wide range of park management issues.

“Today is a significant milestone in Queensland’s history with the signing of the agreements which acknowledges the Lama Lama peoples traditional ownership,” Mr McNamara said.

"The agreement identifies the responsibilities of the EPA and the Land Trust, and specifies how management decisions will be made.

"Through this agreement, the Bligh Government will support employment and training of Indigenous Rangers, and assist the Land Trust to protect Indigenous cultural heritage.

"The Lama Lama people have also agreed to the creation of two new nature refuges, over Running Creek (Yaakarru) and parts of Lilyvale (Tuulwa) Aboriginal freehold land.

"These new nature refuges will further protect the area’s high conservation and cultural value for future generations.”

Lama Lama National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land) lies in the northern half of the former Lilyvale station,from Annie River northwards.

“The park includes highly significant wetlands, coastal and riparian vegetation, and extensive woodlands,” Mr McNamara said.

“There has been little clearing and the tree cover remains virtually intact and contains habitat for vulnerable, rare and endangered species including the endangered red goshawk,” he said.

Mr Wallace said today’s events also marked a significant achievement in the Queensland Government’s Blueprint for the Bush initiative.

“Under the Cape York Tenure Regularisation component, the Bligh Government has committed to resolving tenure allocation over State owned land on Cape York Peninsula in a way that protects and enhances the areas high natural and cultural values’, he said.

Member for Cook, Jason O’Brien, said that the agreements were an excellent example of the Bligh government and traditional owners working together for tangible results.

“These agreements provide an opportunity for the Lama Lama people to build a prosperous future for the next generation.

“I look forward to working with the community to maximise the opportunities that these historic agreements will provide,” Mr O’Brien said.

Note: map is available upon request.

Media contacts: Clare Gillic, Minister Wallace’s office, 0404 133 242.

Peter McCarthy, Minister McNamara’s office, 0439 761 416.