The Sandstone East Land Transfer Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) was agreed between:
- the State of Queensland (acting through the Department of Natural Resources and Mines);
- the Waarnthuurr-iin Aboriginal Corporation;
- the Binthi Land Holding Group Aboriginal Corporation; and
- the Native Title Group [Michael Ross, Silvo Blanco, James Creek, Jonathan Korkaktain, Reginald Williams, Wayne Butcher, Clarry Flinders, Phillip Port, and Hogan Shortjoe being the persons comprising the applicant for the Cape York United Number 1 Claim (NNTT file no.: QUD673/2014)].
The agreement area covers about 545.4 sq km located approx. 42 km northwest of Cooktown.
The purpose of the ILUA is to consent to the transfer of lands as freehold title to the traditional owners under the Aboriginal Land Act 1991 (Qld), to establish the proposed Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Areas as a national park (the Biniir National Park), to accept an Indigenous Management Plan for the Waarnthuurr-iin Aboriginal Corporation's co-management of the national park with the State of Queensland, and the State granting carbon abatement interests to the Aboriginal Corporations.
The Native Title Representative Body for the area is the Cape York Land Council Aboriginal Corporation.
Details of the Agreement:
The agreement area covers about 545.4 sq km located approx. 42 km northwest of Cooktown. The Extract from the Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements identifies the area, per Schedule 1 (attached below), as Lots 55, 56, 57, 58 on Plan SP273793, and Lot 208 on Plan SP252510.
The ILUA commenced operating as an ILUA on 23 September 2016 (the registration date).
Native Title Provisions
Right to negotiate
The parties agree that the right to negotiate provisions of the Native Title Act 1993 (Cth) do not apply.
The parties agree that any of the acts done under this agreement do not extinguish any native title rights and interests.
The parties consent to the doing of the following acts, including the validation of the acts if they are done before the registration date of the agreement:
- the grant of the proposed Western Aboriginal Land Act Area to the Waanrnthuurr-iin Corporation under the Aboriginal Land Act 1991 (Qld) ('ALA');
- the grant of the proposed Eastern Aboriginal Land Act Area to the Binthi Landholding Group Aboriginal Corporation under the ALA;
- the State and the Waanrnthuurr-iin Aboriginal Corporation ('the WAC') entering into the Indigenous Management Agreement ('IMA') under the ALA and the Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Qld) ('NCA');
- the dedication, use, and management of the proposed National Park Cape York Aboriginal Land Areas ('CYPAL Areas') as national park;
- the doing of all acts covered by the IMA in the CYPAL Area;
- the WAC and the BLHGAC respectively entering into the Western and Eastern Gravel Leases for gravel extraction with the Road Authority for the purpose of maintaining roads;
- the Road Authority camping at the Gravel Extraction Campsites and extracting water that is authorised under the Water Act 2000 (Qld) and the NCA from the Water Extraction Sites, and for the State to issue any authority required for this purpose;
- the dedication of the proposed New Road Areas as roads;
- the grant of Easements 1, 2 and 3;
- the WAC constructing and maintaining tracks to the proposed Western ALA Area;
- the BLHGAC constructing and maintaining tracks to the proposed Eastern ALA Area;
- the registration and grant of a carbon abatement interest to both the Aboriginal Corporations, including any interest granting the right to deal with carbon abatement products or the declaration of an Eligible Offsets Project over the proposed ALA Areas;
- the creation of any management instrument over the proposed CYPAL Area subject to the terms of the IMA; and
- the Aboriginal Corporations issuing a lease, permit or such like over the proposed ALA Areas, once they have received the grants of the areas as Aboriginal Land;
- the State issuing a valid lease, permit or such like over the proposed CYPAL Area, subject to the WAC's consent and any other requirements under the IMAS;
- the doing of any activity in relation to a valid lease, permit, or such like (as above) including constructing or operating an infrastructure, extracting quarry materials or water, and survey activities that are required before the issuing of a lease, permit or such like.
Background to the Agreement
The agreement sees the State of Queensland return the area known as Sandstone East to its traditional owners, the Binthi, Balnaggarr, Nhirrbanh, Wundall and Wunuurr clans. The State of Queensland purchased the land from private landowners in 1994, and the Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation worked on behalf of the traditional owners with the state government for more than twenty years to determine areas of traditional significance in Sandstone East (Balkanu, 6 April 2016). Binthii traditional owner, Stewart Wallace, said this agreement gives his clan and others the confidence to go into economic and sustainable avenues for the benefit of future generations (ibid). Australian Conservation Foundation Northern Program officer, Andrew Picone, welcomed the joint management of the national park, which contains sandstone and slate mountain ranges, a significant wildlife corridor and tropical rainforest and woodlands (ibid).