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Karma Waters agreement welcomed

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Media Release

28 September 1998

Karma Waters agreement welcomed Qjl) Q j2t~-£- ATSIC Chairman Gatjil Djerrkura this afternoon welcomed the Federal Court’s recognition of the first native title agreement on coexistence on a

pastoral lease.

The Western (Sunset) Yalanji people and Mr and Mrs Pedersen of Karma Waters Station in far north Queensland negotiated a private agreement on coexistence on 25 000 hectares north west of Cairns.

“I want to congratulate the Western Yalanji native title holders and Mr and Mrs Pedersen on their willingness to talk through the issues,” Mr Djerrkura said.

“This agreement is very much in the spirit of the High Court’s Wik decision, which was all about mutual respect for different interests in land.

“There are now more than 1 200 native title agreements across Australia and it’s clear to me that differing interests are finding it easier and easier to find common ground.

“it’s a sign of increasing maturity and understanding of the native title process that agreements on land use and access are continuing to proliferate despite the heated and irrational opposition to native title that a few people in community have used to advance their own political agendas.

“Negotiated agreements don’t need to involve expensive legal processes or legislation.

“I hope many more pastoralists look at what can be achieved and make the most of the provisions for Indigenous Land Use Agreements under the Native Title Amendment Act.”

C o n t a c t s ; Martin Freckmann 018 631 045

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