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Gunggandji Traditional Use Marine Resource Agreement (TUMRA)

Category: Agreement
Date: 28 June 2016
Sub Category:Traditional Use Marine Resource Agreement (TUMRA)
Place:Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
State/Country:Queensland, Australia
The agreement area covers sea country bounded by the coastline east from Cairns, and extends to Green Island, and Fitzroy Island of Northeast Queensland including the Michaelmas Cay and adjoining reed area, a shared resource with the Yirganydji People. The area covers approx 8267 square km.
Legal Status: The Marine Park Authority accredited this TUMRA for a period of five years on 28 June 2016. In line with criteria in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983 (Cth) (Reg. 10).
Alternative Names:
  • Gunggandji TUMRA
  • Subject Matter:Collaboration / Partnership | Cultural Heritage | Environmental Heritage | Fishing | Marine | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests
    URL: http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/our-partners/traditional-owners/traditional-use-of-marine-resources-agreements
    Summary Information:

    The Gunggandji Traditional Use Marine Resources Agreement (Gunggandji TUMRA) is an agreement made under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 (Cth) (the Act).

    The Gunggandji TUMRA is between the Gunggandji Aboriginal Corporation (RNTBC), the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), and the Australian and Queensland Government. 

    A TUMRA is 'an agreement, developed in accordance with the [Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983 (Cth)], by a Traditional Owner group, for the traditional use of marine resources in a site or area of the Marine Park' (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan 2003).

    The Indigenous Compliance Program ensures that the GBRMPA provides compliance and assistance to the Gunggandji Traditional Owners in implementing their management of the reef.

    Purpose of the Gunggandji TUMRA

    The Gunggandji TUMRA aims to protect and promote the sustainability of marine animals and resources within the Great Barrier Reef. The Gunggandji people implement their TUMRA, through an Indigenous Compliance Program and a Land and Sea Rangers Program, with various bodies, including:

    • GBRMPA
    • Wet Tropics Management Authority;
    • Queensland Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries;
    • Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities; and
    • Terrain Natural Resource Management (Gunggandji Land and Sea Counrty Plan 2013, 22).

    The TUMRA supports Traditional Owners in maintaining their cultural connections with sea country while ensuring their practice of traditional activities is sustainable.  Establishing sea country partnerships and supporting cooperative arrangements between marine management agencies and Traditional Owner Groups on a wide range of sea country issues are some of the activities that the Gunggandji Traditional Owners are involved in.

    Gunggandji Aboriginal Corporation

    The Gunggandji Aboriginal Corporation (RNTBC) acts as an agent for the Gunggandji people to perform functions under the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) in relation to native title, cultural heritage, and land and sea interests.

    Detailed Information:

    Background of the TUMRA framework:

    For Traditional Owners, the spiritual relationship with country has been compared to the relationship one has to family; meaning it is a relationship to be loved, nurtured, cared for and above all, respected (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 2007, 3).

    The Indigenous Land and Sea Country Partnerships Program is a $20 million investment in Traditional Owner management of the Great Barrier Reef. The program was created to provide resources and funds for the development and implementation of TUMRAs, such as the Gunggandji TUMRA.

    Under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan 2003 a new framework was established to separate different 'zones' of sea country so they can be used for specific purposes. The new framework complements existing community-based measures developed by Traditional Owner Groups to protect marine life while ensuring entitlements enshrined in the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) are recognised. The new framework replaces old zoning plans and gives more power to Traditional Owners in managing the reef's resources (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 2007, 5).

    Under the previous approach, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the agreement area were required to apply for permits to undertake traditional activities like fishing, collecting, and hunting in the Marine Park (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 2007, 6). In negotiating the Gunggandji TUMRA, the Gunggandji Traditional Owners wanted to update the permit system and develop and manage their own community-based plans for preservation of the Reef, in line with the Guggandji Land and Sea Country Plan 2013.

    Details of the Gunggandji TUMRA:

    The Gunggandji TUMRA was developed in line with the Gunggandji Land and Sea Country Plan 2013.

    Under the Gunggandji Land and Sea Rangers Program, the Gunggandji Rangers undertake fire, weed, and feral animal management to conserve the threatened marine species on their country. Additionally, the rangers participate in turtle stranding and rehabilitation activities to keep the local environment and culture strong. The program's purpose is to build community awareness and to ensure that cultural values are instilled in future generations (National Indigenous Australians Agency, Gunggandji Rangers keeping traditional lands healthy).

    The aim of the Land and Sea Rangers Program is to protect Yarrabah country by encouraging Gunggandji people to undertake training to establish a professional Indigenous ranger workforce. Capabilities include observing, reporting, and fixing threats posed to the natural and cultural resources of the Reef. Possible threats to country include:

    • unsustainable hunting;
    • damage from pigs and other 'pest' animals;
    • weeds;
    • uncontrolled development;
    • lack of resources for managing country; and
    • climate change (Gunggandji Land and Sea Country Plan 2013, 18-22).

    In accordance with the Gunggandji TUMRA, the hunting of turtles and dugong is not allowed in the agreement area. While Gunggandji Traditional Owners can legally take turtles and dugong by exercising their rights under s 211 of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), through this TUMRA, the Gunggandji Traditional Owners have chosen to prohibit this activity (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Traditional Use of Marine Resource Agreements Summary).

    Native Title Provisions

    Native Title in the Agreement Area

    This agreement is within the area of the native title determination Murgha on behalf of the combined Gunggandji Claim v State of Queensland [2011] FCA 1511 (FCA file no.: QUD6013/2001, NNTT file no.: QCD2011/010).


    Related Entries

    Agreement
  • Murgha on behalf of the Combined Gunggandji Claim v State of Queensland [2011] FCA 1511
  • Organisation
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority - Signatory
  • Gunggandji PBC Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC - Signatory
  • State of Queensland - Signatory
  • Commonwealth of Australia - Signatory
  • Wet Tropics Management Authority
  • Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (Cth)
  • Department of Sustainability and Environment (Vic)
  • Terrain Natural Resource Management
  • Legislation
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983 (Cth)
  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975 (Cth)
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • Native Title Amendment Act 1998 (Cth)
  • People
  • Gunggandji People
  • Les Murgha and Stewart Harris on their own behalf and on behalf of the Gunggandji People
  • Mandingalbay Yidinji Gunggandji People
  • The Combined Mandingalbay Yidinji Gunggandji People

  • References

    Journal Article
    National Indigenous Australians Agency (19 January 2017) Gunggandji Rangers keeping traditional lands healthy
    Media Release
    Department of the Environment and Heritage Working Together to Improve Indigenous Land Management
    Report
    Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (2007) A Reef Wide Framework for Managing Traditional Use of Marine Resources in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
    Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (2003) Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan 2003
    Gunggandji PBC Aboriginal Corporation (March 2013) Gunggandji Land and Sea Country Plan 2013
    Resource
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Heritage Committee (1972) Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage
    Resource Section
    Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (2020) Traditional Use of Marine Resource Agreement Summary

    Glossary

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (Australia) | Aboriginal Corporation (Australia) | Framework Agreement | Local Government | Native Title (Australia) | Registered Native Title Body Corporate (RNTBC) (Native Title Act) (Australia) | Traditional Use Marine Resource Agreements | Native Title Holders (Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)) (Australia) | Native Title Registers | Indigenous Partnership | Indigenous Protected Area (Australia)

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