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Coolgaree Bay Sponge Farm Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)

Date: 22 December 2005
Sub Category:Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Native Title Act)
Place:The Palm Islands
State/Country:Queensland, Australia
The ILUA area covers 21 small sea areas and 0.3 hectares of land in and around the Palm Islands, 56km north-west of Townsville. The sea sponge farm will potentially use about 54 hectares of this area, in which no structures would be able to be built on sea bed that was within 100 metres of sea grass, should any be found. The area is within the Hinchinbrook Shire Council and the jurisdiction of the Palm Island Aboriginal Council.
Legal Status: Registered with the National Native Title Tribunal
Legal Reference: National Native Title Tribunal No.: QI2003/052.
Subject Matter:Aquaculture | Economic Development | Future Act | Marine | Native Title | Water
Summary Information:
The Coolgaree Bay Sponge Farm Agreement Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) was agreed between Walter Palm Island, Alan Buller, Violet Sirriss, Daphne Morganson, Walter Saunders, Annie Palm Island, Allan Palm Island, Bonita Mabo and Alison Sailor on their own behalf and on behalf of the Manbarra People and the Coolgaree Aboriginal Corporation for CDEP on 22 December 2005.

The purpose of the ILUA is to provide consent for a range of acts, whether or not they are 'future acts', in order to facilitate the development of a Coolgaree CDEP owned and operated sea sponge aquaculture farm at Palm Island, which will grow sea sponges for the commercial sea sponge market.
Detailed Information:
The Manbarra people agree that Coolgaree Aboriginal Corporation for CDEP can begin developing a commercial sea sponge venture. This agreement is the result of seven years of negotiations between the two groups in which representatives of the State Government (Department of State Development and Innovation) and the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) were also involved. The venture comes about as a result of AIMS research that shows that there are 'reasonable prospects' for growing sea sponges in this area using trialled aquaculture techniques. The sea sponges would be sold for the cosmetic market, or could in the future be used in the development of anti-cancer and anti-viral drugs. The venture would also provide employment and skills development for the Indigenous people of Palm Island.

In order to receive final approval, the venture must undergo an Environmental Impact Assessment by the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority which will evaluate its impact on ecological, social, economic and Indigenous interests.

The ILUA includes agreement that 'future acts' may be done. The parties also agree that the right to negotiate provisions of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) do not apply, as the alternative consultation provisions are to be followed instead. Under this Act any activity, such as a grant of land, that may affect native title rights is defined as a 'future act' and must comply with the future act provisions of the Act in order to be valid.

Related Entries

  • National Native Title Tribunal
  • Coolgaree Aboriginal Corporation for CDEP - Signatory
  • Central Queensland Land Council Aboriginal Corporation
  • Legislation
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Native Title (Indigenous Land Use Agreements) Regulations 1999 (Cth)
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • People
  • Manbarra People
  • Walter Palm Island & others on their own behalf, and on behalf of the Manbarra people - Signatory

  • References

    National Native Title Tribunal (30 September 2010) Registered ILUAs by Name


    Coolgaree Bay Sponge Farm Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) Map - ( Image | Thumbnail | PDF)


    Native Title (Australia) | Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Future Act Agreement (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia)

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