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Gunaikurnai native title recognition



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ATTORNEY-GENERAL HON ROBERT McCLELLAND MP AND MINISTER FOR FAMILIES, HOUSING, COMMUNITY SERVICES

AND INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS HON JENNY MACKLIN MP

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE

Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600  Telephone (02) 6277 7300  Fax (02) 6273 4102 www.attorneygeneral.gov.au

22 October 2010

GUNAI/KURNAI NATIVE TITLE RECOGNITION

Atto rney -General, Robert McClelland and the Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Jenny Macklin, today welcomed the Federal Court’s recognition of the Gunaikurnai people’s native title rights in the Gippsland region of Victoria.

The consent determination is the first settle ment reached under the new Victorian Na tive Title Settlement Framework and allows the Gunaikurnai people to exercise non -exclusive native title rights and interests, such as the right to hunt and fish, over a signifi cant part of the Gippsland region.

“I would like to congratulate all the part ies involved. Today’s settlement is a significant achievement for all involved and is a go od example of t he approach we can and should be taking to resolve na tive title claims , which result in enduring benefits ,” Mr McClelland said.

Ms Macklin said the determination followed a 13 year pursuit by the Gunaikurnai peoples to have their rights as the traditional owners of the land recognised.

“Settlemen ts such as this are integral to empowering Indigenous people and furthering their aspirations for economic development,” Ms Macklin said.

The Victorian Native Title Settlement Framework was developed by a steerin g committee , chaired by Professor Mick Dodson, to improve the process of resolving native title in Victoria.

The Australian and Victorian Government s both contribut ed $6 million to develop the $12 million settlement package.

“The Australian Government’s contribution reflects our commitment to national native title reform, and the resolution of native title cl aims through negotiation, rather than l itigation,” Mr McClelland said.

Mr McClelland attended the Gunaikurnai native title on -country consent deter mination hearing today in Stratford, Victoria.

Media Contact: Daniel Gleeson 0417 886 111 Keely Bell 0417 297 157