Historic native title agreement

The first agreement between an Australian Local Government authority and a native title claimant has been signed by Queensland's Redland Shire Council and the Quandamooka Land Council (QLC) Aboriginal Corporation. Following acceptance by the National Native Title Tribunal of a Quandamooka claim over Moreton Bay, including North Stradbroke Island, both Redland and Quandamooka opted for a mediation rather than litigation to resolve any issues.

The parties began with agreement on two key issues.

  • The Quandamooka being the original inhabitants of the island hold inherent rights interests and obligations in regard to the Island and its waters.
  • Both parties wanted to ensure present and future use of North Stradbroke Island is ecologically sustainable.

The Native Title Process Agreement which is the outcome of their discussions, enables the two bodies to pursue further discussions for the purpose of preserving North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) for future generations.

This is the first step in a strategy to develop land use and management plans which take account of the impact of a wide variety of land uses. These include access, development, cultural resources, public health, land tenure, water management, tourism, reserves management and zonings.

Redland Mayor Cr Eddie Santagiuliana and Quandamooka Chair Alan Perry said the agreement focused on shared goals. It recommended a process which would ensure the needs of both Councils, Minjerribah residents and visitors were met.

"While QLC and its members wanted to ensure their descendants could have all the benefits of Island life that the current residents have, Redland Shire wanted to make sure that any land use issues met the needs of the wider community," said Cr Santagiuliana.

In a nutshell, both sides wanted to make sure that all land on the Island was used in an environmentally sustainable manner.

"Once we had established a common goal, the rest was easy, and now we are signing our first formal agreement," Alan Perry said.

Under the Agreement a project coordinator and project consultancy will be established to undertake day to day management of negotiations. This will result in the North Stradbroke Island (Minjerribah) Planning and Management Study. A steering committee will be formed. It will use recommendations and findings from the study to formulate a Strategic Land Use Plan and Management Framework.

Agreement between the two bodies cannot pre empt the State Government's rights and interests in the issue of Native Title. However, both parties are optimistic that the State Government will participate in the same cooperative spirit.

For further information contact Malcolm Griffin at Redland Shire, on (07) 3286 8439 or Kevin Guy at QLC, telephone (07) 3844 5625.