Mandingalbay Yidinji People have had their Native Title rights recognised in 2006 over national park, other reserves and state forest areas near Cairns, clearing the way for the MY People to carry out their traditional activities and help manage and protect the land.
Under the Native Title determination the Mandingalbay Yidinji Aboriginal Corporation was set up as the Registered Native Title Prescribed Body Corporate which holds the Native Title. All people who are of MY descent are entitled to be members of the corporation. Therefore it is the representative body of MY people for the Native Title determined area.
As part of the Native Title Determination the Mandingalbay Yidinji People also developed Indigenous Land Use Agreements (ILUAs) with Telstra, Ergon Energy and Cairns City Council to allow these organisations to continue to access the area to maintain essential public services.
MYAC’s continuing role is to monitor the implementation of ILUAs, be notified about development activities on their country via the ‘Future Act” process contained in the Native Title Act and continue to manage their country in a sustainable manner for future generations of our people. One of the first tasks undertaken by MYAC after the determination was to develop a ‘Strategic Plan’ for their country. This document continues to inform the on the ground activities undertaken by MY people and its associated entities such as Djunbunji Ltd.
As part of their land management obligations, MYAC established a separate entity, Djunbunjii Ltd, to actually conduct land management activities for the MY people. An important function of MYAC is to clear work programs for Djunbunji Ltd’s ‘Working on Country Program’. For this purpose they have established a ‘Cultural Protocol Committee’ to ensure land management activities reflect community priorities and are done in a culturally appropriate manner.
MYAC receives some funding from FAHSCIA as a PBC and also has been funded directly by SEWPAC surrounding the declaration of the IPA over parts of MY country.
On the 24th of April 2006, the Federal Court of Australia made a determination recognising the native title rights of the Mandingalbay Yidinji People in sections of the Grey Peaks National Park, Malbon Thompson Forest Reserve, Giangurra Reserve and in some lots adjacent to the Trinity Inlet and Red Bank Creek near Cairns, Far North Queensland.
Prior to the determination the Mandingalbay Yidinji People and other interested parties developed an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) for forests and national parks. This agreement establishes how the Mandingalbay Yidinji People will exercise their rights and interests in these areas. In addition to the Mandingalbay Yidinji Aboriginal Corporation, other interested parties were the State of Queensland and the Wet Tropics Managment Authority.
The determination and ILUA covers an area of about 3140 hectares.
The native title application was lodged with the Federal Court on the 18th of August 1999 and was a combination of two applications previously lodged in 1998. The application was amended on the 8th of October 2004 to remove land and waters to the south of Bell Peak South. Mediation was performed by the National Native Title Tribunal between interested parties in the claim from Feburary 2001 under the supervision of the Federal Court.
The determination came into effect once the ILUA was registered on the National Native Title Tribunal's Register of Indigenous Land Use Agreements (on 28/6/2012). This agreement is known as the "Mandingalbay Yidinji Indigenous Land Use Agreement (Area Agreement)".
The recognition of the Mandingalbay Yidinji People's native title over the Grey Peaks National Park and Malbon Thompson Forest Reserve does not prevent other people accessing or using these reserves. The interests of the general public have been recognised and protected in this determination. If native title rights and interests clash with other interests, the other interests will have priority in most cases.
State and Commonwealth laws apply to the Mandingalbay Yidinji People.
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