Nearly one third of Queensland recognised as native title

Published Friday, 09 July, 2021 at 08:30 AM

Minister for Resources
The Honourable Scott Stewart

The Palaszczuk Government continues to work with Indigenous Queenslanders to recognise their rights as traditional owners of the land, with native title now recognised in nearly 30 per cent of the state.

As NAIDOC Week celebrations continue, Resources Minister Scott Stewart said this year’s theme has a deep association with the work of his department.

“This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is Heal Country, which means resolving many outstanding injustices that impact the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” Mr Stewart said.

“Our native title achievements demonstrate the government’s ongoing commitment to reconciliation.

“It is vital we recognise the rights, history and culture of our First Nations peoples and the deep connection they continue to hold to the land and their ancestors – a connection that has existed for more than 60,000 years.

“I am proud to say my department plays an important role in reconciliation through its work resolving native title claims.”

Mr Stewart said Queensland has resolved 156 native title claimant applications.

“This equates to more than a third of all the claimant determinations in Australia,” he said.

Of those 156 native title determinations, 144 have been settled by agreement without the need for a determination in the judicial system.

There are also some 430,000 square kilometres, or approximately 25 per cent, of the state subject to remaining claims.

Native title is the recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s pre-existing rights and interests to land and waters continue to exist according to their traditional law and customs as set out in Australian Law.

Native title determinations recognise people’s rights to traditional practices such as fishing, hunting, holding ceremonies, and passing on dreaming stories and bush lore on ancestral land.

“Queensland also has 861 Indigenous Land Use Agreements, which represents nearly two-thirds of all these agreements registered in Australia today,” Mr Stewart said.

“Outside of the native title process there has also been over 6 million hectares of land returned to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups in recognition of their use and traditional connection to the land.”

The Palaszczuk Government is also establishing a $300 million Path to Treaty Fund, a major investment in healing that will support the Government’s response to the Treaty Advancement Committee report, set to be provided to Government later this year.


Media contact: Bryce Heaton 0434 575 237