Native title recognised for Wangkamahdla people
Published Thursday, 15 July, 2021 at 12:27 PM
Minister for Resources
The Honourable Scott Stewart
A native title determination will “change the lives” of traditional owners the Wangkamahdla People in central west Queensland.
Resources Minister Scott Stewart said a determination recognising the Wangkamahdla People’s rights under native title to more than 3 million hectares of land to the west and southwest of Boulia has been made in the Federal Court.
“This is a historic decision for the Wangkamahdla People, whose unbroken bond to their traditional country has been officially recognised,” Mr Stewart said.
“This determination will help preserve Wangkamahdla ancestral connection to country and bolster traditions and values.”
“This native title declaration will ensure the traditions and values of the Wangkamahdla people are respected and preserved for future generations, upon the land they have walked for thousands of years.”
Wangkamahdla woman Mona Aplin came to Brisbane from Mount Isa for the determination in the Federal Court.
"Recognition of our people as native title holders will not only change my life, but it will change the lives of my children and my children’s children," she said.
The determination recognises the Wangkamahdla People’s connection to land taking in the town of Bedourie, extending to the Northern Territory border, encompassing the diverse lands of Cravens Peak and part of the Munga-Thirri National Park.
Mr Stewart said the determination protects the Wangkamahdla People’s rights and strengthens their enduring connection to country.
“This means they can hunt, fish, gather, conduct ceremonies, teach and maintain places of importance on country,” he said.
“Native title determinations underpin the preservation of Indigenous culture, values and traditions and are a key step towards achieving more independence for traditional owners on their land.”
“The Palaszczuk Government continues to work with Indigenous Queenslanders to recognise their rights as traditional owners, with native title now recognised in nearly 30 per cent of our state.
“I am proud to say my department plays a vital role in reconciliation through its work in resolving native title claims.”
Native title is recognised over about 490,000 square kilometres of land in Queensland, with claims to another 430,000 square kilometres currently being determined.
Media inquiries: Bryce Heaton 0434 575 237