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ATSIC welcomes historic indigenous land use agreement.



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ATSIC welcomes historic Indigenous Land Use Agreement

 

26 October 2001

 

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (NSW) has today welcomed the decision by the NSW Government to create a new national park that recognises Aboriginal native title rights.

After more than seven years of consultation, the Arakwal National Park will be officially declared this Sunday and will mark the registration of a historic Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) for NSW native title claimants.

“The decision to recognise the native title owners of this area will have far reaching effects for Aboriginal people involved in future native title negotiations within NSW.” Chairperson of the Many Rivers Regional Council, Mr Jimmy Budd, said today.

The Arakwal people have been involved in discussions regarding the establishment of a national park for many years.

The ILUA follows a process of extensive consultations with the NSW State Government, community groups, native title claimants and the Byron Shire Council.

The creation of the park recognised the traditional rights of the Arakwal people but also demonstrated what could be achieved through proper negotiation and consultation, ATSIC Commissioner for the NSW Eastern Zone, Mr Des Williams said.

“This agreement was reached without the need for a lengthy, expensive and protracted court battle. It augers well for future discussions with the Arakwal people and the NSW Government on native title issues,” he added.

The new national park will provide for the transfer of land for a cultural centre and houses, as well as training and jobs for members of the local Aboriginal community and a valuable recreational facility

The finalisation of the ILUA also signifies the initiation of stage two negotiations involving the resolution of a range of native title issues for the Arakwal people.

Contact: Jimmy Budd 0418 441 257, Des Williams 0418 494 279 Media: Grant Gilluley 0418 413 274, Phillipa McDermott 0418 467 020