THE state government says it has committed an additional $14.8 million over four years and $3.7 million ongoing annually to support the joint management of Cape York’s national parks.
The funding will help in the protection of Cape York’s natural and cultural values for future generations through a joint management agreement between Traditional Owners and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
The investment will continue to build on the Cape York Peninsula Tenure Resolution Program, finalised in September 2022, which returned ownership and management of identified lands to local Traditional Owners.
“The funding will ensure the meaningful partnerships between Traditional Owners and the state government will create an enduring legacy,” said Environment Minister Leanne Linard.
Joint management agreements are established through the development of an Indigenous Management Agreement (IMA) .
The state said $12.2 million over the next four years and $2.8 million ongoing from the budget will go towards the development and reviewing of IMAs.
The remainder of the funding will enable a greater transfer of management responsibility to Traditional Owners.
Olkola Aboriginal Corporation CEO Debbie Symonds said the funding was “much-needed”.
“It empowers Traditional Owners by providing resources and support to improve skills, knowledge and abilities in managing and preserving parks culturally and in line with traditional lore and customs,” she said.
“By involving Traditional Owners in the management process, it not only preserves the ecological integrity of the parks but also ensures that the land’s cultural significance and Indigenous knowledge are respected and protected.”