Creswick Golf Course Redevelopment Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA)
|5 May 2006
|Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) (Native Title Act)
|The extract of the ILUA from the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements describes the area covered by the agreement as follows:
“The Agreement area covers all the lands and waters subject to the following land parcels in the State of Victoria:
- Crown allotment 2020, County of Talbot, Parish of Creswick
-Crown Allotment 1M Section T, County of Talbot, Parish of Creswick”.
The area is within the area of the Tumbukka Regional Council, and the Hepburn Shire Council local government area.
|Registered with the National Native Title Tribunal
|National Native Title Tribunal File No.: VI2005/007
|Cultural Heritage | Employment and Training | | Native Title
|The Creswick Golf Course Redevelopment Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) was agreed between Gary John Murray, Robert Herbert Nicholls, Rodney John Carter, Graham John Atkinson, Carmel Priscilla Barry and Connie Harrison-Edwards on behalf of the Dja Dja Wurrung Native Title Group; and The Forest Resort Pty Ltd on 31 August 2005. The ILUA was registered on the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements on 5 May 2006.
The purpose of the ILUA is to provide consent for a range of acts, whether or not they are ‘future acts’, regarding the $50 million redevelopment of the Creswick Golf Course by The Forest Resort Pty Ltd.
|The Dja Dja Wurrung give permission for:
a lease to be granted to The Forest Resort over the ILUA area;
the completion of the redevelopment of the Creswick Golf Course, including the construction of a toilet, greenkeepers shed and a practice fairway with elevated driving range; and
the doing of any other acts pursuant to the lease.
This 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.
The resort will promote Indigenous culture throughout its area, including by displaying and selling local Indigenous art, as well as by having signage around the golf course and resort to explain Dja Dja Wurrung cultural heritage to guests. The ILUA also provides employment and training opportunities for the traditional owners.
According to Graham Atkinson, chair of the Dja Dja Wurrung Native Title Group, the ILUA took over four years to negotiate and is 'a fine example of how developers can work together with traditional owners, and competing interests can be reconciled.' He describes the ILUA negotiation process as being conducted in a 'collaborative manner' and that while initially the groups had been negotiating a simple lease, the need for an ILUA became apparent when Forest Resort expressed a desire for more secure tenure in order to build permanent structures over the land.
Usually an ILUA would be negotiated, and then after its registration the State would grant a lease. In this respect this ILUA is unusual: it contains within it conditions for renewing the lease, which was negotiated in parallel to the ILUA. In addition, the ILUA is specifically recognised in the lease issued by the State; again this is unusual - ILUAs with mining companies, for instance, are not recognised in mining leases or licences issued by th State. According to Atkinson, this arrangment 'provided a stable framework that satisfied both of the parties, as well as the State.'
The ILUA contains a dispute resolution process, as well as a process for consultation and approvals for any future works that are needed and were not included in the ILUA when it was negotiated.
The ILUA states that it will operate for the duration of The Forest Resort’s lease over the area.
|In the December 2007 issue of Talking Native Title (NNTT 2007: 7), Graham Atkinson, the chair of the Dja Dja Wurrung Native Title Group, stated that the ILUA 'was being implemented very satisfactorily.' It was reported that:
design concepts for the resort, incorporating Dja Dja Wurrung People's culture and background, had been developed;
plans were in existence for a display area of Aboriginal artwork in the hotel, and for an Aboriginal gift shop; and
negotiations were taking place between the Forest Resort, local Creswick communities, and the Dja Dja Wurrung Native Title Group regarding trainintg and development opportunities in hospitality.
The Director of the Forest Resort, Jim Walsh, also stated that the parties to the ILUA had 'developed a very close relationship' and had 'shared family, ecological values and principles' (NNTT 2007: 7).