Mou signing marks new era for local land councils

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MOU signing marks new era for local Land Councils

by Christine Howes 29 April 2014

Chairperson of North Queensland Land Council, Errol Neal with Richie Ahmat of Cape York Land Council signing the historic MOU with North Queenland Land Council Board members in background. Image supplied

airns-based Native Title Representative Bodies (NTRBs) the Cape York Land Council and the North Queensland Land Council have signed an historic Memorandum of Understanding to take them into a new era of cooperation and teamwork. ‘Speaking as one voice’ and ‘united we stand’ were the themes of the afternoon as Board Chairs Richie Ahmat (CYLC) and Errol Neal (NQLC) celebrated the signing with staff at an NQLC Board meeting this afternoon. “I think it’s the only way forward,” Mr Ahmat said. “We have to have an agreement for cross-border purposes for Native Title claims.

“I think it shows a great deal of respect between the North Queensland Land Council and the Cape York Land Council. “It’s been a long time coming but we’re there now, which is fantastic.” Mr Neal said it was an historic occasion, particularly for the NQLC which had members within its boundaries which extend to just north of Rockhampton and west to Georgetown. “We have members of the North Queensland Land Council, clients and families who may have connections to Cape York, so it’s an historical occasion here today,” he said. “As a Chair of this organisation I feel very privileged and honoured to be signing an MOU with the


Cape York Land Council. “I think it will go a long way towards a better working relationship, trying to support each other and moving forward as one voice to ensure the aspirations of our people in retaining their Native Title rights and interests are maintained. “As governments look at further cutbacks it makes sense that we NTRBs start working together and start sharing resources – things like that. “The challenge now is how do we go forward to ensure Aboriginal people’s rights will be adhered to throughout Aboriginal Australia.” The NQLC has now signed a similar MOU with almost every NTRB and Native Title Service organisation in Queensland.

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