York Heads of Agreement
AGREEMENT is made on the fifth day of February 1996
Cape York Land Council (CYLC) and the Peninsula Regional Council of the
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC), representing
traditional Aboriginal owners on Cape York Peninsula, and|
Cattlemen's Union of Australia Inc (CU), representing pastoralists on Cape
York Peninsula, and|
Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) and The Wilderness Society (TWS),
representing environmental interests in land use on Cape York
CU, ACF and TWS acknowledge and affirm that the Aboriginal people,
represented by the CYLC, and the Peninsula Regional Council of ATSIC, are
the original inhabitants of Cape York Peninsula who are entitled by their
traditional law to their traditional customs and culture, including access
to areas of traditional significance.
Aboriginal people of Cape York Peninsula, the ACF and TWS acknowledge and
affirm that pastoralists of Cape York Peninsula (including non CU members)
are significant landholders who have existing legal right and concerns
related to their industry and lifestyle.
parties acknowledge that there exist on Cape York Peninsula areas of
significant conservation and heritage value encompassing environmental,
historical and cultural features, the protection of which is the
responsibility of State and Federal Governments in conjunction with the
parties maintain their respective positions on the East Coast Wilderness
Zone but shall encourage negotiations between pastoralists in the Zone and
the State Government on its creation. If the negotiations prove
unsuccessful, the parties undertake to meet again to discuss the matter.
parties are committed to work together to develop a management regime for
ecologically, economically, socially and culturally sustainable land use on
Cape York Peninsula, and to develop harmonious relationships amongst all
interest in the area.
to clause 5, all parties are committed to the development of a sustainable
cattle industry on Cape York Peninsula.
parties are committed to jointly approach the State Government to secure
upgraded lease tenure for pastoral properties and restructure lease
boundaries under the existing provision of the Queensland Land Act. As a
necessary prerequisite for this process, a property consistent with clause
5, in consultation with existing landholders. The parties agree to encourage
leaseholders to make necessary applications to the State Government for
CU and CYLC agree to make joint approaches to secure investment for
development of the cattle industry through the Indigenous Land Corporation,
The Rural Adjustment Scheme, and other sources.
Aboriginal people agree to exercise any native title rights in a way that
will not interfere with the rights of pastoralists.
agree to continuing rights of access for traditional owners to pastoral
properties for traditional purposes. These rights are:
rights shall be attached to the lease title and shall be consistent with a
detailed code of conduct to be developed between pastoralists and
traditional owners. The code of conduct shall ensure leaseholders are
protected from public liability claims arising from the exercise of access
to hunt, fish and camp; |
to sites of significance; |
for ceremonies under traditional law; |
and conservation of cultural heritage.|
code of conduct for access shall be a minimum to apply to the region, but
there shall also be provision for additional features to be negotiated
between traditional owners and individual landholders.
parties agree that areas of high conservation and cultural value shall be
identified by a regional assessment process according to objective national
and international criteria. There shall be an independent review acceptable
to all parties in the case of dispute as to whether the values are
consistent with the criteria. Where such areas are identified, the
landholder shall enter into appropriate agreements to protect the area under
State or Commonwealth provision which may include World Heritage listing. As
part of such agreements, funds shall be provided for management of the area,
monitoring of agreements and equitable economic and social adjustment.
shall be no compulsory acquisition of private leasehold or freehold land,
without prior negotiation with the landowner, and unless all reasonable
avenues of negotiation, including the agreements detailed in clause are
purchase of land for the protection and management of cultural and
environmental values shall only take place as land becomes available
parties support the establishment of a fund for the purpose of purchasing
land with identified high environmental and cultural values by the
Commonwealth Government. The fund also shall contain funds for effective
management of land purchased by the fund.
purchased through the fund shall be assessed for World Heritage values.
management regime to apply to land purchased through the fund shall be
negotiated between the Commonwealth and State Governments and traditional
owners and shall be based on culturally and ecologically sustainable use of
the land's resources to achieve Aboriginal economic viability. Negotiations
will involve relevant community organisations and traditional owners on a
sub-regional basis, and particularly in the following sub-regions:
nomination for World Heritage listing on any land on Cape York Peninsula
shall proceed only where there is a management arrangement which is
negotiated with all landholders who may be affected directly by such
parties shall approach the Commonwealth and the State to become parties to
this agreement process.
The parties are
committed to pursuing agreements with the mining and tourism industries and
with other industries with interests in Cape York Peninsula.
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