Yesterday the Queensland Government granted Aboriginal freehold title to the Girramay People, as part of their commitment to provide opportunities for Indigenous Queenslanders to own their own home.

The land granted to the Girramay People is roughly two hectares at Murray Upper, North West of Cardwell.

Minister for Natural Resources and Mines and Member for Hinchinbrook, Andrew Cripps, formally handed over the title deed at a ceremony in Cardwell yesterday.

“The Newman Government acknowledges the importance of land ownership for indigenous communities,” Mr Cripps said.

The land totalling 2.137 hectares was granted to the Girramay People due to their connection to the land in the local area.

“The handing over of this title recognises the connection and relationship the Girramay People have with the land in the local area,” Mr Cirpps said.

It will now be the responsibility of the Girramay People to manage and use the land for current and future generations.

Mr Cripps said the Girramay People had participated in extensive land tenure negotiations with the State over lands at Murray Upper, Bilyana and Cardwell.

“Throughout the negotiations, the Girramay People considered the needs of the broader community, as well as those of local aboriginal people,” he said.

Having grown-up in the area Mr Cripps was proud to be a part of the ceremony and said it was a step in the right direction for indigenous communities.

“Granting Aboriginal freehold title can unlock potential social, cultural and economic benefits for indigenous communities.”

In December last year the Queensland Government invited interested parties to provide feedback on the draft Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Land (Providing Freehold) Amendment Bill 2013.

The time to comment is coming to a close, any comment should be provided by 5pm, Friday 31 January 2014.

You can email your thoughts to emailing, or send them by post to: Director, Policy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Land Services PO Box 2454 Brisbane Q 4001.

What do you think about the Queensland Government granting land ownership to the Aboriginal Australians? Would you like to see it happen more often?

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