Council signs off on Indigenous Land Use Agreement

THE endorsement today of an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) by the Bundaberg Regional Council has moved the process of establishing Native Title over land within Bundaberg, Fraser Coast, Gladstone and North Burnett one step closer to finalisation.

Bundaberg mayor Mal Forman said the Native Title claim had been made over the identified lands by the Port Curtis Coral Coast People eight or nine years ago.

"The claim encompasses around 67% of the Bundaberg Region and the endorsement of the agreement will place certain obligations on Council," Cr Forman said.

"Council already had existing legislative responsibilities in relation to Native Title and Aboriginal Cultural Heritage prior to endorsing the agreement."

Cr Forman said that council's acceptance of the ILUA was only one step in the process and other member councils and the indigenous stakeholders also had to sanction the agreement for it to have application.

"As the matter has yet to be considered by the other signatories the contents of the ILUA need to remain confidential," Cr Forman said.

He added that a large part of the agreement was formalizing existing obligations in a succinct more readily understandable document.

"There has been significant community interest in the issue of flying of the aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags outside (the) council chambers and during discussion on that matter Council regularly referred to the process embodied in the ILUA," Cr Forman said.

"The ILUA should provide a mechanism where issues of this nature can be resolved through a consultative process."

Cr Forman said he believed the agreement was a milestone step in relations between the general community and indigenous community.

"There is certainty and a process that affords a respectful dialogue between parties," Cr Forman said.

Cr Forman said council, at today's meeting, had endorsed the agreement and authorised the mayor and CEO to sign the ILUA on the council's behalf.

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