On The Land

9 July, 2023

National park returned to Waayni people

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park has been returned to the land’s Traditional Owners, the Waayni People.

National park returned to Waayni people - feature photo

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park has been returned to the land’s Traditional Owners, the Waayni People.

The State Government will then, in a first for Queensland, lease back more than 79,000 hectares of the park.

This is also the first co-designed cooperative management agreement between a Traditional Owner Group (the Waanyi Native Title Aboriginal Corporation) and the State.

Ownership of the land will be transferred to the Waanyi Native Title Aboriginal Corporation (Waanyi Prescribed Body Corporate) for the Waanyi People.

Waanyi PBC will lease the Aboriginal land in perpetuity to the state to manage under the Nature Conservation Act, the first leaseback arrangement that has been successfully negotiated on national park land in Queensland.

The area of land handed back includes the southern section of Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park, the Lawn Hill Gorge area and the Riversleigh World Heritage site, part of the Australian Fossil Mammal Sites.

The State Government and the Waanyi PBC have entered into an Indigenous Land Use Agreement which recognises the native title rights of the Waanyi People and future interests over the land including ongoing public access, and a Cooperative Management Agreement to ensure the national park will continue to be cooperatively managed by Waanyi and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

The Waanyi People have an unbreakable connection with Boodjamulla (rainbow serpent country) – the spiritual heart of their land. From the emerald waters of Lawn Hill Gorge to open woodlands and spinifex communities, each landscape represents rich songlines and dreamings.

Waanyi Lore Man and chairman of the Waanyi Prescribed Body Corporate Alec Doomadgee said his people had occupied Boodjamulla for thousands of years and it was integral to their culture and Country.

“In partnership with QPWS, Waanyi People look forward to building on the awareness of Boodjamulla and enhancing visitor knowledge and experience on Waanyi Country,” Alec said.


Most Popular