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Dja Dja Wurrung Recognition and Settlement Agreement

Date: 24 October 2013
Sub Category:Settlement Agreement

Central Victoria

State/Country:Victoria, Australia
The agreement area extends north of the Great Dividing range (near Daylesford), and includes part or all of the catchments of the Richardson, Avoca, Avon, Loddon and Campaspe Rivers. It also includes Crown land in the City of Greater Bendigo, Lake Boort and part of Lake Buloke. The agreement relates only to Crown lands and waters within the external boundaries of the agreement area.
Subject Matter: | Native Title | Recognition Agreement / Acknowledgement | Recognition of Native Title or Traditional Ownership | Recognition of Traditional Rights and Interests
Summary Information:

The Dja Dja Wurrung Recognition and Settlement Agreement was negotiated between the Victorian Government and the Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Council (DDWCAC) on behalf of the Dja Dja Wurrung traditional owner group. It commenced on 24 October 2013, spanning 18 months of negotiation, and recognises the Dja Dja Wurrung people as the traditional owners of Central Victoria.

This comprehensive agreement is the first settlement under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic), settling four native title claims in the Federal Court that date back to 1998.

The TOS Act was originally introduced into Victoria as an alternative to combat the lengthy processes of native title claims. Currently, it is the most expansive means by which Traditional Owners can claim native title rights in Victoria; through comprehensive, non-litigated processes that provide a package of agreements, recognition and rights to the Traditional Owners. There is a strong focus on partnership and self-determination within all the agreements that encompass the foundations of all agreements made under the Act. (Victorian Parliamentary Library and Information Service: Land and water rights of Traditional Owners in Victoria)

Detailed Information:

The Dja Dja Wurrung Traditional Owners' compensation package

This settlement agreement will not impact existing leases, licenses, and other rights and interests in the agreement area. Recreational activities, such as hunting and fishing will also not be impacted. The Aboriginal title granted in this settlement will be held on trust by the DDWCAC for the Dja Dja Wurrung People, and many national parks and reserves will be managed in partnership with the State.

Grants of Freehold title

The DDWCAC will be granted two properties of cultural significance at Franklinford and Carisbrook that were formerly held by the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and are now unreserved Crown land.

These properties are granted in freehold title to the DDWCAC and held in trust for the benefit of the Dja Dja Warung people.

Joint management of certain areas

Certain areas within the agreement area will be jointly managed by the State and the Dja Dja Wurrung people via the establishment of the Dhelkunya Dja Land Management Board. The majority of members are to be nominated by the DDWCAC and the remaining to be nominated by the State. This allows for State government sectors to continue to carry out day-to-day management; including fire and catchment management; whilst also recognising and respecting the Dja Dja Wurrung culture and improving public education and conservation.

Grants of six parks and reserves

Six national parks and reserves fall in the agreement area and will be transferred to DDWCAC as 'Aboriginal title', they are:

  • Greater Bendigo National Park,
  • Kara Kara National Park (that part which falls within the agreement area),
  • Hepburn Regional Park,
  • Kooyoora State Park,
  • Wehla Nature Conservation Reserve, and
  • Paddy's Range State Park.

The parks and reserves will be jointly managed by the State and the Dja Dja Wurrung people via the Dhelkunya Dja Management Board, which will be established on commencement of the settlement.

The transfer of the parks and reserves to Aboriginal title will not affect the existing use and access of these areas. While the parks and reserves are to be managed under the same Act by which they have been reserved, the joint management plan must be approved by the Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water, following public consultation.

Land Use Activity Agreement (LUAA)

The Dja Dja Warung Land Use Activity Agreement commenced on 25 October 2013 and is the first LUAA to be made under the TOS Act. It is intended that LUUAs will create a simpler regime, than the future act regime of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth), for managing activities on public land that may impact the rights of the Dja Dja Wurrung people.

The LUAA will allow the Dja Dja Wurrung people to have a say or consent to certain activities on Crown land.

For details, please see the State Government of Victoria Reference below for the Dja Dja Wurrung Land Use Activity Agreement.

Natural Resource Agreement

The Dja Dja Wurrung people hold several rights to natural resources under this settlement agreement. These include:

  • the right to hunt, fish and gather in accordance with the terms and conditions specified in an 'Authorization order' or, where applicable, the rules and regulations governing recreational access by the public;
  • Dja Dja Wurrung people will not need to pay for or hold any license in relation to these rights, but will need to demonstrate they are a member of the traditional owner group; and
  • limited bushcraft manufacturing for commercial use.

There will be annual reports and monitoring of the taking of natural resources by the Dja Dja Wurrung people for the purposes of sustainability. These recognised rights of the Dja Dja Wurrung people do not affect the access of existing recreational fishers and hunters.

Related Entries

  • Dja Dja Wurrung Settlement Agreement Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
  • Organisation
  • Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation - Signatory
  • State of Victoria - Signatory
  • Legislation
  • Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 (Vic)
  • Native Title Act 1993 (Cth)
  • People
  • Dja Dja Wurrung Native Title Group
  • Policy/Strategy
  • Reimagining Bendigo Creek

  • References

    General Reference
    State Government of Victoria (25 October 2013) Dja Dja Wurrung Land Use Activity Agreement
    Victorian Parliamentary Library & Information Service Land and water rights of Traditional Owners in Victoria

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