Sacred site Whinpullin (Minto Crag) back in hands of traditional owners and custodians

Published Saturday, 18 March, 2023 at 12:58 PM

Minister for Resources
The Honourable Scott Stewart

  • Twenty-six hectares of land forming part of Whinpullin (Minto Crag) has been returned to representatives of the Aboriginal people connected to the land. 
  • Dhagun Yumba Aboriginal Corporation (DYAC) now holds inalienable freehold of the land, which can only be used for the benefit of those Aboriginal people connected to the land.
  • The site is approximately 80 kilometres south-west of Brisbane.

A sacred rock formation in Boonah’s south-west will be protected forever after being put back in the hands of Traditional Owners today.

The Dhagun Yumba Aboriginal Corporation (DYAC) took freehold title of 26 hectares of land at Whinpullin—also known as Minto Crag—for the benefit of the Aboriginal people connected to the land.

Whinpullin is an ancient rock formation which according to one story in Indigenous lore is known as a ‘giant ancestral eel’.

In recent years, the recognition and protection of this significant site has seen the coming together of Traditional Owners, community and nearby residents.

The land transfer means DYAC hold the land as inalienable freehold­—it can’t be bought, sold or mortgaged—and is held in perpetuity for the benefit of the Aboriginal people connected to that land.

Quotes attributable to Resources Minister Scott Stewart:

“The land transfer highlights the Palaszczuk Government’s genuine commitment to protecting and preserving Indigenous culture, values and traditions.

“We are blessed in this country to be home to the longest, continuing cultures in history.

“The cultures and histories of our First Nations Peoples are unique.

“That’s why it is important to work with Traditional Owners to help keep sacred sites protected.

Quotes attributable to Ms Lynda Maybanks, Chair, Dhagun Yumba Aboriginal Corporation (DYAC)

“The land transfer is exciting for the corporation and the people it represents.

“Some Elders and traditional custodians will be returning to the site for the first time, as the site is not easily accessible for Elders and large groups and is known as a sacred Ugarapul site.

“It was the neighbours and the community group Friends of Whinpullin who really got the ball rolling and started the process that resulted in today’s land handover.

Quotes attributable to Scenic Rim Mayor, Greg Christensen: 

“The Scenic Rim Council is excited by the decision and to celebrate it with the community.

"This decision aligns with our belief in the importance of respecting the cultural traditions of our region.

"The understanding that Minto Crag or Whinpullin is, for the Ugarapul people, the equivalent of Uluru, is a powerful foundation for today's celebration.

"Council is delighted with the listening and wisdom shown in this decision."

Further information.

  • Since 2015, more than one million hectares of land have been returned to Traditional Owners, by the Department of Resources, under the Aboriginal Land Act.
  • Approximately 38,000 hectares was returned in 2022 alone, including more than 20,000 hectares of Gulf Savannah Country to the Gangalidda and Garawa people.  
  • Getting treaty-ready defines much of the work of the Department of Resources, including:
  • negotiating with First Nations peoples as claimants in the Native Title process.
  • recognising traditional languages through the reinstatement of traditional place names and removal of insensitive place names.
  • consulting our First Nations Peoples on land and natural resource management.
  • working with Traditional Owners to return sacred land back into their care. 



Media contact: Chris Lees, 0434 859 940