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KULLA Indigenous Management Agreement

Date: 6 August 2008
Sub Category:Indigenous Management Agreement (Aboriginal Land Act) (Queensland)
Place:Cape York Peninsula
State/Country:Queensland, Australia
The KULLA Indigenous Management Agreement (IMA) relates to the joint management of the KULLA (McIlwraith Range) National Park, which is situated on the Cape York Peninsula in the state of Queensland. This national park was formed through the handing over of five separate deeds of grant with respect to land in the former Mt Croll, McIlwraith Range and Running Creek properties. It covers approximately 158,358 hectares of land in the McIlwraith Range.
Subject Matter:Cultural Heritage | Environmental Heritage | Land Management
Summary Information:
The KULLA Indigenous Management Agreement (IMA) was agreed between the KULLA Land Trust and Queensland Natural Resources and Water Minister Craig Wallace (on behalf of the State of Queensland) at Coen on 6 August 2008. The purpose of this IMA is to provide for the dedication and joint management of the KULLA (McIlwraith Range) National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land) by the KULLA Land Trust and the Environmental Protection Agency (Qld), which has now been incorporated into the Department of Environment and Resource Management (Qld).
Detailed Information:
General Overview of Indigenous Management Agreements

The formation of an Indigenous Management Agreement (IMA) is a pre-requisite to the dedication of land as a National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land (CYPAL)) - a new class of protected area made possible by the introduction of the Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act 2007 (Qld). Pursuant to s 83G of the Aboriginal Land Act 1991 (Qld), an Indigenous Management Agreement must contain the following:

  • A description of the land;

  • A statement that the land will be managed as a National Park (CYPAL);

  • A statement as to how the land is proposed to be managed;

  • Details of any interim management arrangements;

  • A statement of the land management responsibilities of the Environment Minister and the chief executive, in keeping with the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Qld);

  • A statement of the land management responsibilities of the grantees of the land;

  • Details of the process for developing a land management plan;

  • Details of areas where there may be restrictions on general public access;

  • Information about how any infrastructure on the land will be managed; and

  • A statement of how existing and future interests in the land will be managed.

  • Background to this Indigenous Management Agreement

    The signing of the KULLA (McIlwraith Range and Mt Croll) Indigenous Land Use Agreement (National Native Title Tribunal File No. QI2008/018) on 6 August 2008 provided the KULLA Land Trust with consent to enter into this IMA. The IMA provides for the dedication of about 158,358 hectares of land within the former Mt Croll and McIlwraith Range properties as a National Park that will be jointly managed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the KULLA Land Trust. The name of the park (KULLA) is an acronym for the initial letters of the Kaanju, Umpila, Lamalama and Ayapathu Peoples, all of which have a historical connection to the region.

    A video of the signing of this IMA and other agreements is available at the Australian Conservation Foundation website, for which a link has been provided below.

    Contents of this Indigenous Management Agreement

    In a media statement dated 6 August 2008, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh described this IMA as one that addresses wide-ranging issues, identifying the responsibilities of the parties to the agreement and setting out how they will jointly make decisions with respect to the new National Park. The IMA also provides for the regulation of public access to the park by the EPA and the Land Trust. The joint management of the park is made possible through the grant of an Aboriginal freehold title over the area - or in this case, the making of five separate deeds of grant.

    More specifically, the contents of this IMA include provisions for the following:

    Park management

    As previously stated, the KULLA (McIlwraith Range) National Park will be dedicated, used and managed in perpetuity as a national park (CYPAL) (clause 3.1). The National Park will be managed in accordance with:

  • the management principles for national parks (CYPAL);

  • this IMA;

  • the KULLA (McIlwraith Range & Mt Croll) Indigenous Land Use Agreement (National Native Title Tribunal File No. QI2008/018); and

  • an Approved Management Plan agreed upon between the KULLA Land Trust and the State of Queensland, which sets out more specific provisions with respect to visitors and resources.

  • Pursuant to clause 4.5 of this IMA, the KULLA Land Trust will be responsible for tasks including the protection and maintenance of Aboriginal sites and cultural resources, the presentation of Aboriginal cultural information to the public and the making of decisions with respect to activities defined as 'significant'. However, all the parties to this agreement will endeavour to assist each other in performing their respective responsibilities (clause 4.7).

    Native title rights and interests

    As per clause 7.1 of the agreement, the Native Title Parties (being Jennifer Creek, Bernard Singleton, Phillip Port, Alison Liddy, Gavin Bassani, Noel Accoom, Florence Deemal, Lynette Thomas and Daniel De Busch) have agreed that they will not exercise their native title rights and interests (if any) in the KULLA National Park (CYPAL), except in accordance with clause 7 of this IMA. The Native Title Parties are also signatories to the KULLA (McIlwraith Range & Mt Croll) Indigenous Land Use Agreement.

    Use of land and resources by the Indigenous beneficiaries

    This IMA permits its Indigenous beneficiaries to camp in the National Park (CYPAL) area free of charge, with certain restrictions on the length of stay in a single place, on the clearing of vegetation and the construction of permanent fixtures (clause 7.2). It also allows these beneficiaries to take, use, keep or interfere with the cultural and natural resources of the National Park (CYPAL) in accordance with Aboriginal tradition (clause 7.5), subject to some restrictions.

    The IMA also includes provisions concerning access to land that allow for the restriction of public access to certain areas subject to Land Trust consent (clause 8). The agreement also provides for the restriction of access (with the exception of mutual inspection rights) to the Land Trust and EPA Exclusive Use Areas (clause 9).

    Employment and training

    Pursuant to clause 10.1 of this IMA, the Environment Protection Agency has committed to the following Indigenous employment targets in the Cape York Peninsula region:

  • 30% within three years of the dedication of the National Park (CYPAL); and

  • 50% within ten years of the dedication of the National Park (CYPAL).

  • The EPA has also agreed to 'use its best endeavours' to provide funding and create new positions for Indigenous rangers in the National Park (clauses 10.2, 10.3), and also to provide training for Indigenous rangers employed by the KULLA Land Trust (clause 10.5). It will do this with the overall goal of increasing Indigenous employment in all areas of EPA activities related to the National Park (CYPAL) (clause 10.6).

    In addition, the EPA and the KULLA Land Trust have agreed to become involved in the development of a regional Indigenous recruitment, retention, training and development strategy (clause 10.7), as well as in the provision of secondary and post-secondary education scholarships for Indigenous beneficiaries (clause 10.10).

    Finances, assets and procedure

    The agreement also contains provisions on meetings between the Land Trust and the EPA (clause 15), as well as on the financial aspects of park management (Part 3). In particular, the allocation of resources for the EPA's National Park (CYPAL) labour, operational and capital works budget is to take place through consultation with the Land Trust (clause 16.2).

    More information

    To obtain more information or a PDF copy of this agreement, please contact the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Department of Environment and Resource Management, State of Queensland (

    Related Entries

  • KULLA (McIlwraith Range & Mt Croll) Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Organisation
  • KULLA Land Trust - Signatory
  • Environmental Protection Agency (Queensland)
  • State of Queensland - Signatory
  • Legislation
  • Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act 2007 (Qld)
  • Place
  • KULLA (McIlwraith Range) National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land)

  • Glossary

    Indigenous Management Agreement (IMA) (Aboriginal Land Act 1991 (Qld)) (Australia) | National Park

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