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Sunshine Coast native title win

  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2106
Sunshine Coast native title map

The Sunshine Coast Branch of the CPA lies within Kabbi Kabbi country. At the recent National Education School held at Nambour in the Sunshine Coast on 22 to 23 June, I as President of the Queensland State Committee, proudly congratulated the Kabi Kabi on their magnificent win for Land Rights Title to traditional land. On Monday, 17 June, the Federal Court found the Kabi Kabi people are and always have been the traditional owners of the Sunshine Coast region, formally recognising them as Native Title holders. The judgement covers 365,345 hectares of land and waters around the Sunshine Coast from Redcliffe to Childers in the north, a distance of 200 km. To gain these rights, the Kabi Kabi had to prove that their ancestors have occupied the area under their set of laws and customs, since first European settlement.

The Kabi Kabi made their first Native Title claim in 2006. In 2013 they applied under the act. It then took another 11 years to negotiate the Native Title agreement. Sadly, in that time several elders have passed on without witnessing the final success. The CEO of the Queensland South Native Title Services, Tim Wishart, has assisted the Kabi Kabi with their claim. He said the, “Kabi Kabi people have a right to move about on the land, to camp on the land, to build temporary structures, to teach their kids, to take some resources, to hunt, fish.”

Traditional owner Norman Bond said the Kabi Kabi people can be formally recognised by all tiers of government and by the public “without feeling they have to justify who they are.” Kabi Kabi woman, Helena Gulash, said, the Kabi Kabi: “will be able to live, work, camp on country, raise their families on Kabi Kabi country.” This is an extraordinary gain in a state which has had a long history of the denial of Indigenous rights and maltreatment of Aboriginal people.

Unfortunately, there is already a growing wave of disinformation from Sky News and the Murdoch News Corp insinuating that this will demolish the rights of whites, who will now be regarded as second rate citizens under the law. This is far from the truth.

The Sunshine Coast Branch is proud that our area is covered by the area marked out by the Native Title Act. The Branch has been and will continue to support the Kabbi Kabbi people. The Communist Party of Australia has long supported Indigenous rights in Queensland so it is a proud moment for our party.

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