Indigenous group has native title rights recognised
OVER 20 years after native title was first officially recognised by law, a local indigenous community have today been formally allowed to claim ownership of their own land.
The original custodians of over 330 hectares of land between Chinchilla and Glencoe, the Auburn Hawkwood people, have had their rights and ownership of the land certified by the Federal Court today.
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said the recognition, announced in a special hearing in Brisbane, acknowledged the Auburn Hawkwood people's history with their land and protected their rights for future generations.
"This determination recognises the Auburn Hawkwood people's rights to fish, hunt, hold ceremonies, and pass on dreaming stories and bush lore on their ancestral land," he said.
Traditional owner Christine Bosworth said today marked a significant milestone for her people, with formal recognition of their native title rights and their historical and ongoing connection to their country.
"The recognition of our connection to this land ensures the Auburn Hawkwood people can now work with Government and pastoralists to properly manage the country in an environmental and sustainable way - like our ancestors did before us," Mrs Bosworth said.
"This determination is another step on our journey and empowers us.
"We are connected both spiritually and physically to our land, it holds our history, our names, our stories and our healing and burial places."
This determination recognises exclusive native title rights and interests over more than 159 hectares, and non-exclusive native title rights and interests over more than 170 hectares of land.
Dr Lynham congratulated the Auburn Hawkwood people, other respondents and the Federal Court for the spirit of co-operation in achieving this recognition.
"The Queensland Government is committed to recognising the significant connection our First Nations People have with the land, rivers and creeks of our beautiful state," he said.