Media release |
YORK AGREEMENT A MILSTONE IN DEVELOPMENT AND COOPERATION
Summary: Joint Media Release of the
Cape York Land Council, Balkanu Cape York Development Corporation,
Peninsula Cattlemen's Association, Australian Conservation Foundation
and The Wilderness Society
agreement signed today between traditional owners, pastoralists,
the conservation movement and the State Government could become
a model for reconciliation and land management across Australia,
according to Peninsula Cattlemen's Association President John Fraser.
Fraser described the signing of the Cape York Peninsula Land Use
Heads of Agreement (HOA) in Cairns today as a "milestone not
only for Cape York Peninsula but for Australia."
believe the agreements that come out of this will wind up being
used as a model for reconciliation and land management across the
country," he said.
to the agreement - which aims to protect cultural heritage and environmental
values while also providing for greater certainty and more effective
management of the pastoral industry - said the agreement was a unique
foundation on which to pursue new business and employment opportunities
in areas like cultural and eco tourism.
pastoral industry and conservation movement representatives applauded
the active participation of the State Government saying it would
give great impetus to a process that started in 1996.
important element of the agreement is to establish a mechanism,
including a "Ministerial Implementation Committee," that
will translate long held aspirations for Cape York Peninsula into
signatories to the Cape York Peninsula Land Use Heads of Agreement
are the Cape York Land Council, Peninsula Regional Council of the
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, Balkanu Cape York
Development Corporation, Peninsula Cattlemen's Association, Australian
Conservation Foundation, The Wilderness Society, the Cairns and
Far North Environment Centre, and the Queensland Government.
York Land Council Chairman, Allan Creek, described the HOA as "a
great achievement and traditional owners look forward to working
with pastoralists on Cape York Peninsula".
lot of us are still cattlemen, we have worked on stations all our
lives. This agreement will give us a chance to prove that we can
still do the job," Mr Creek said.
people are pleased that people are getting together to talk about
these things because our people have looked after this country for
thousands of years," he said.
Fraser said Aboriginal people had played a major role in the development
of the cattle industry and he looked forward to a renewed role in
more indigenous people come into the system, the more sustainable
the industry becomes. There is huge potential for us to work together,"
conservation groups welcomed the agreement with The Wilderness Society
Executive Director, Alec Marr, describing the HOA signing as "an
historic moment that will accelerate the process of dealing with
land tenure on Cape York and deliver excellent conservation outcomes
and social justice to the traditional owners."
agreement puts Cape York on the map in terms of the broader Australian
community because it will have a higher State Government priority
and a lot more resources will be dedicated to it. The whole profile
of Cape York will be raised dramatically both in Australia and overseas,"
Mr Marr said.
Conservation Foundation Councillor, Dr Rosemary Hill, said the ACF
strongly commended the initiative of the Premier Peter Beattie in
adding the State of Queensland as a signatory to the HOA.
are particularly pleased because Cape York is an outstanding natural
area in Australia, and probably globally, and there is a wonderful
opportunity here to really protect those natural values," Dr
is a unique continent in that we have the oldest culture in the
world living here and one that has an incredible capacity in terms
of managing natural values. So this agreement is bringing natural
and cultural heritage together in something that has great synergy.
The common good can really be promoted here - social and economic
development together as well as protection of natural and cultural
heritage values," she said.
Cape York Development Corporation Executive Director, Gerhardt Pearson,
also welcomed "the leadership shown by Premier Beattie"
saying the HOA was a way "of protecting the beautiful environment
of Cape York Peninsula while also allowing sensible development."
terms of Aboriginal people we see a big opportunity with the HOA
to have our Native Title interests recognised through practical
land use agreements - within the framework of the Native Title legislation,"
Mr Pearson said.
York Land Council Chairman, Allan Creek. Phone: 0421 477 301
Cape York Development Corporation Executive Director, Gerhardt Pearson.
Phone: 0419 773 433
Cattlemen's Association President, John Fraser. Phone: 0407 696
Conservation Foundation Councillor, Rosemary Hill. Phone: 0408 938
Wilderness Society National Campaign Director, Alec Marr. Phone:
0417 229 670