Pioneering Native Title work continues

In 1997 Redland Shire Council and Quandamooka Land Council (QLC) created history when they signed a Native Title Process Agreement. The Agreement marks a unique but logical approach to negotiating a native title claim and is the first agreement of its type in Australia between native title claimants and a Local Government authority.

Redland Mayor Cr Eddie Santagiuliana said the Agreement signing came nearly three years after QLC lodged a native title claim on behalf of the Quandamooka people over areas of land and waters in Moreton Bay including North Stradbroke Island - Minjerribah.

"North Stradbroke Island, or Minjerribah as it is known to the Aboriginal community, is one of the largest Moreton Bay Islands," Cr Santagiuliana said. "It is recognised for its natural features that include ocean and bay beaches, rocky headlands, freshwater lakes and streams and coastal flora and fauna and is a special place to both the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities."

Just three months after the Agreement signing the project won the Royal Australian Planning Institute (Queensland Division) Award for Excellence for Community Planning.

Judges praised the Agreement saying it was a stimulating and exciting approach which was considered to be ahead of its time in terms of bringing together community application with an original planning and management approach.

Redland Shire Council's Chief Executive Officer, Hayden Wright, said the real underpinning of the Agreement comes from the goodwill and mutual respect that each party had developed for the other. "Without this no agreement can hope to achieve success," he said.

"A major component of the Agreement is the North Stradbroke Island, Minjerribah Planning and Management Study which has been under way for almost 12 months and has involved extensive community and landowner involvement.

"Appointed consultants have been looking at a range of topic areas including the natural environment, economy and employment, infrastructure and physical services, social environment and community life and Aboriginal cultural issues.

"The study will provide recommendations which will form the basis for a management plan and land use plan strategy for North Stradbroke Island - Minjerribah as well as an agreement between Quandamooka Land Council and Redland Shire Council in accordance with the Native Title Act."

Key project elements are:

  • Determine ecologically sustainable use of renewable natural resources on and around North Stradbroke Island -Minjerribah within the context of Moreton Bay - Quandamooka.
  • Determine a strategy for the maintenance and enhancement of the social well being of the local and wider community.
  • Determine strategies to recognise and enhance Aboriginal culture.
  • Determine strategies for the promotion of sustainable economic development opportunities for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.