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Indigenous Law Bulletin

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D'Souza, Carl --- "Arakwal Indigenous Land Use Agreement Celebrated" [2002] IndigLawB 1; (2002) 5(14) Indigenous Law Bulletin 4

Arakwal Indigenous Land Use Agreement Celebrated

by Carl D’Souza

On 28 October 2001 an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (‘ILUA’) between the Arakwal people of northern NSW and the NSW Government, registered by the National Native Title Tribunal on 28 August 2001, was officially handed to the traditional owners by Premier Bob Carr at Cape Byron. The Arakwal ILUA is the result of seven years of consultations between the Arakwal people, the NSW Government (through the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Department of Land and Water Conservation), a range of community groups, and the Byron Shire Council. This is the first ILUA in NSW involving the State government and the first in Australia to create a new national park that will be jointly managed by the Arakwal people and the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The agreement aims to provide economic independence for the Arakwal through training and jobs. It transfers land to the Arakwal people to enable them to build a cultural centre and tourist facility, and provides for the transfer of Crown land to the Arakwal Corporation for the traditional owners to live on. However, the ILUA does not grant native title. The ILUA commences stage two of negotiations for a framework agreement aimed at resolving all native title and other interests in the traditional country of the Arakwal people, including compensation for past extinguishments.

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