NSW land claim agreement welcomed

National environmental organisation Friends of the Earth Australia (FoEA) has welcomed the announcement that the Githabul people will get joint management control of World Heritage-listed national parks in northern NSW.

Janaury 2, 2007

“Given the way the Native Title legislation works, there is very little ability for traditional owners to gain control over their lands; it is only the public lands that are available for claim. Therefore, we need to be supportive of such claims on national parks as one element in achieving land justice for these communities” said FoEA spokesperson Binnie O'Dwyer.

“This announcement also sets a precedent for the Victorian government. With the current VEAC inquiry into redgum forests, there is a growing call for the creation of a jointly managed national park covering the Barmah Forest on the Murray River. This would provide enhanced environmental protection for these forests and mark a significant step forward in recognising the rights of the Yorta Yorta Nation. It would also create history as the first jointly managed national park in Victoria” said FoEA spokesperson Cam Walker.

Further comment Cam Walker 0419 338 047