Partial native title win on Nth Stradbroke Is.

July 8, 2011
North Stradbroke Island.

Under an agreement endorsed by the federal court, the Quandamooka Aboriginal people of North Stradbroke Island, 22 kilometres off the Brisbane coast, have gained partial native title over the island. Speaking at a July 4 handover ceremony, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said the agreement opens the way for settlements of other native title claims in the Brisbane region, the July 5 Australian reported.

After 16 years of negotiations, the agreement provides non-exclusive rights to more than 22,000 hectares of land on North Stradbroke and Peel islands, as well as part of the Moreton Bay Marine Park. However, only 9% of the area will be for the exclusive use of the Quandamooka people, the Australian said.

The agreement also gives the Quandamooka permanent involvement in managing national parks and a share of mining royalties until sandmining ends on the island in 2025.

Community member Darren Burns said the decision brought recognition of spiritual connection to the land, the July 5 Courier-Mail reported.

“We belong to this place. This is part of our world. It's the end of part of a struggle that we know our elders have endured for a long time," he said.

Ian Delany, who led the native title application, admitted he had struggled to balance widely differing community views, but said sticking together was key. “I have faith in the younger group … It's their job to steer the community in the right direction,” he told the Courier-Mail.

Another community member, Dale Ruska, told ABC radio's PM on July 4 that he felt the agreement had involved too much compromise of Quandamooka rights.

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