Badu Island traditional owners granted freehold title

Published Saturday, 01 February, 2014 at 12:00 PM

Minister for Natural Resources and Mines
The Honourable Andrew Cripps

Cultural and economic benefits will be generated for the residents of Badu Island in the Torres Strait after being granted freehold title over almost 10,000 hectares of land.

The title deed was formally handed over to the traditional owners of Badu Island at a ceremony today, giving them full ownership and responsibility to manage, use and enjoy the land now and into the future.

Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Andrew Cripps said the land handover would create a positive future for the community on Badu Island.

“Handing over the title to the land represents an important step for the people of Badu Island and recognises their strong connection and close relationship with the land,” Mr Cripps said.

“The Newman Government’s election commitment was to deliver economic opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and actively promote Indigenous home ownership.

“Granting freehold title to residents of Badu Island delivers on this commitment.”

Mr Cripps said registered native title body corporate the Mura Badu (Torres Strait Islanders) Corporation would hold the title deed to the 9836 hectares of Badu Island for the benefit of the traditional owners.

“Today’s handover follows the people of Badu Island gaining native title rights some 10 years ago and was testimony to the patience and hard work of the local community,” he said.

“Granting Torres Strait Islander freehold title will unlock social, cultural and economic benefits for the local community.”

Assistant Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs and Member for Cook David Kempton  said today’s handover acknowledged the importance of land ownership for indigenous communities.

“The Badu Island community has been a leader in the Torres Strait,” Mr Kempton said.

“They have assisted the Torres Strait Island Regional Council and the Queensland Government to establish processes for transferring township land so that the Badu People can pursue economic opportunities and self-determination in the future.”

[ENDS] 1 February 2014

Media contacts:

Minister’s Office  Kate Haddan 0418 373 516 or Eleisha Rogers 0413 375 088
Mr Kempton’s Office      Nikki Taylor 0400 314 323