10 May 2023

Premier to witness major Cape York land agreement signing

| Samuel Davis
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PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk will attend an historic handback in Cape York this week returning the Jardine and Denham Group National Parks to First Nations peoples.

The entire Queensland government ministry is in the Torres Strait for community cabinet, with the Premier and Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon expected to travel to Injinoo on Wednesday morning.

It’s understood traditional owners have invited Ms Palaszczuk to attend a ceremonial signing of agreements with the Gudang/Yadhaykenu, Atambaya and Angkamuthi peoples.

As part of the ceremony the Premier will deliver land deeds to the Ipima Akaya Aboriginal Corporation and Atambaya Aboriginal Corporation.

Northern Peninsula Area mayor Patricia Yusia said the hard-earned claims took decades of planning.

“It’s a big day for the Traditional Owners to have their lands back,” Cr Yusia said.

“It’s taken them years to negotiate this. Some Elders who fought for the handover have passed away during the fight.

“I’m happy for them. It’s their country and it’s coming back to them.”

Ms Palaszczuk said the announcement was an important step towards reconciliation.

“Our Path to Treaty is about a truthful shared history,” she said.

“The land handback we’re expecting to make is an important part of that journey.”


THE handback is one of two announcements expected for the region with a master plan for Pajinka expected in the coming days.

The state government has already agreed to build a boardwalk and campgrounds at the site as part of a $2 million package.

Cr Yusia said the area, which suffers from a lack of amenities, still needed more infrastructure.

“We may be small but 60,000 people visit here every year,” she said.

Gudang Yadakhenu Aboriginal Corporation chairperson Michael Solomon couldn’t be reached for comment.

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