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Hopevale Heads of Agreement

Date: 21 February 1996
Sub Category:Memorandum of Understanding | Framework Agreement
Place:Hopevale, Cape York Peninsula
State/Country:Queensland, Australia
Subject Matter:Intra-Indigenous Agreement | Native Title | Mining and Minerals
Summary Information:
The Hopevale Heads of Agreement was made between 11 clans in the Hopevale area in order to pursue native title rights collectively. The agreement was made between the Binthi Warra, Dharrpa Warra, Dingaal Warra, Gamaay Warra, Ngaatha Warra, Ngurrumungu Warra, Nguyumbarr Nguyumbarr Warra, Nukgal Warra, Thaniil Warra, Thitharr Warra and Thuppi Warra (Aboriginal Clans).
Detailed Information:
Since 1994 the Aboriginal community of Hopevale on the Cape York Peninsula has been divided by territorial disputes arising out of attempts by individual clans to define claim boundaries for the purpose of native title applications. Under the Hopevale Heads of Agreement the eleven traditionally affiliated clans of the Hopevale Deed of Grant in Trust (DOGIT) area have overcome the issue of clan boundaries by agreeing to make a single native title application together while agreeing to respect each others' rights over individual clan estates.

The Agreement recognises the rights of the clans to conduct activities on each other's clan estates as well as confirming that Aboriginal historic residents of Hopevale are entitled to enjoy access to clan estates for specified purposes. The Agreement establishes a structured process for negotiation where disputes arise between clans in the region, with matters being referred to an independent mediator where clan elders are not able to find resolution.

As a united group under the Agreement the parties have also lodged an application for the transfer of Hopevale DOGIT to inalienable land under the Aboriginal Land Act 1991 (Qld) in order to obtain royalties for traditional owners affected by the Cape Flattery silica mine.
Agreement Details:
1. That the Aboriginal clans will pursue recognition of native title rights together
2. That they will pursue native title rights of exclusive possession, occupation, use and enjoyment for each clan to their clan estate (subject to a range of things such as: valid operation of the laws of the Commonwealth and State of Qld, valid operation of local govt functions of Hopevale Aboriginal Council, the continuation of any valid leases, licences and interests previously granted etc).
3. That the native title application will exclude the township of Hopevale where native title has been extinguished under European Law
4. Each clan will hold its native title separately, will administer their own estate and affairs including financial and admin matters
5. Any disputes will be settled in the following way:
a. Elders of the clans will try to settle the dispute
b. The Council of elders will mediate the dispute
c. An inexpensive arbitrator will be appointed to make the final decision

Related Entries

  • Erica Deeral (on behalf of herself and the Gamaay Peoples) & Ors v Gordon Charlie & Ors [1997] FCA 1408 (8 December 1997)
  • Hopevale Congress Aboriginal Corporation Body Corporate Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Hopevale Congress Aboriginal Corporation - Social Housing Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Organisation
  • Cape York Land Council Aboriginal Corporation
  • Legislation
  • Aboriginal Land Act 1991 (Qld)
  • People
  • Binhthi Warra People - Signatory
  • Dharrpa Warra People - Signatory
  • Dingaal Warra People - Signatory
  • Gamaay Warra People - Signatory
  • Ngaatha Warra People - Signatory
  • Nguurruumungu Warra People - Signatory
  • Nguymbaarr Nguymbaarr Warra People - Signatory
  • Thanil Warra People - Signatory
  • Nugal Warra People - Signatory
  • Thiithaarr Warra People - Signatory
  • Thuubi Warra People - Signatory

  • References

    Media Release
    National Native Title Tribunal (1996) Native Title Act Helps Resolve Hopevale Land Issues
    National Native Title Tribunal (1997) Tribunal President Welcomes Hopevale Determination
    Resource Section
    Commonwealth of Australia (1996) Hopevale Heads of Agreement


    Framework Agreement | Memorandum of Understanding

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