Victory on Land title

Mamu Determination - Innisfail (Click here for more photo's)

Aboriginal elders have celebrated a Native Title ruling near Innisfail that has been 12 years in the making.

The Federal Court of Australia yesterday recognised the Mamu people’s native title rights and interests over a swath of land that stretches from Kurramine to Jogo and west to the Millaa Millaa.

The claim was first filed in 2001 by the north Queensland Land Council on behalf of the Mamu people.  But the finalisation of the claim stalled last year after a challenge was launched by a second group of traditional owners.

The long wait ended yesterday when the determination was handed down at the Innisfail Shire hall.

The Department of Natural Resources and Mines director of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land services, Kevin Murphy, said the determination recognised exclusive native title rights for more than 75sq km of land and non-exclusive rights to more than 645sq km of land.

He said the ruling included national parks, unallocated State land, reserved land and leasehold land which the Mamu people could use to camp, hunt and conduct ceremonies,

“Recognising native title over these lands formally acknowledges the Mamu people’s rights to use and enjoy their traditional lands for generations to come,” he said.

“Today’s determination is a significant achievement for the Mamu people and recognises their age-old spiritual bond to their traditional lands.”

Mamu elder Victor Maund said securing native title rights had been a long journey.  “It’s taken us all this time to get here:, Mr Maund said.

Several indigenous land use agreement s with the Queensland Government and other parties have also been successfully negotiated by the Mamu people.

Source: The Weekend Post 2 November 2013, Page 19