In my very First Speech to the Senate back in 1997, I praised the Native Title negotiations then taking place between the Quandamooka people, the Traditional Owners of Stradbroke Island, and what was then the Redland Shire Council. I mentioned it as a positive example of what Native Title could deliver for our entire community, as those negotiations seemed to be progressing well at the time. I never thought it would take so long, but nearly fourteen years later, the Federal Court has finally formally recognised this Native Title claim, with an Indigenous Land Use Agreement between the Quandamooka and the Queensland government also being signed.
According to the statement issued by the Queensland government, the area recognised includes the majority of North Stradbroke Island, plus Peel and Goat Islands, and the surrounding waters of Moreton Bay – which includes 29 505 hectares of the Moreton Bay Marine Park.
It is a great achievement for the Quandamooka people, and whilst I am sure it is not as comprehensive as some would have liked, it is significant to have legal recognition of continuing Traditional Owner occupation of waters and land so near to the Brisbane metropolitan area.