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;
- 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  FCA 1511 (FCA file no.: QUD6013/2001, NNTT file no.: QCD2011/010).