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					Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act—what does it mean for the
Indigenous community?
The Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act 2007 was                Vegetation clearing
proclaimed on 2 November 2007.
                                                             Under the Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act 2007,
The Act is a significant land management initiative          Indigenous communities can undertake limited clearing of
developed through consultation between the Queensland        vegetation for the purposes of small-scale clearing
Government, Indigenous and non-Indigenous people,            (special Indigenous purpose) and on Indigenous
and the conservation and development sectors.                community use areas.
It introduces new measures to protect the natural and        A special clearing code under the Vegetation
cultural values of Cape York Peninsula, provide              Management Act 1999 will assess clearing for special
economic opportunities for Indigenous communities and        Indigenous purposes. The code will set requirements for
ensure future development is sustainable.                    the following:
The Department of Environment and Resource                   • maximum sizes
Management (DERM) is the lead agency and is
responsible for coordinating the implementation of the       • provide buffers to wetlands and watercourses
Act with other government agencies and stakeholder           • prevent the loss of biodiversity
bodies.
                                                             • avoid land degradation
How will Indigenous communities                              • protect essential habitat for threatened species and
benefit?                                                       place limits on clearing.

Under the Act, the Cape York Indigenous community will       Consultation with relevant landholders and the Cape
benefit from:                                                York Peninsula Regional Advisory Committee will ensure
                                                             that development is located in areas and configured in a
• a new class of protected area to enable national parks     way that will still maintain the unique landscape and
  to be created over Aboriginal land without the need for    values of the region.
  lease-back arrangements
                                                             The Act also allows landholders of Aboriginal land,
• designated Indigenous community use areas within           DOGIT land or Aurukun Shire lease land, to request that
  Aboriginal land that are suitable for aquaculture,         part of their land be declared an Indigenous community
  agriculture or grazing purposes and create, for those      use area.
  areas, a limited capacity for clearing under the
  Vegetation Management Act 1999                             Indigenous community use areas
• the protection of native title rights in the Wild Rivers   Under the Act, landholders of Aboriginal land, Aurukun
  Act 2000 and a reserve of water that will be set aside     Shire lease land or DOGIT land in the Cape York
  for Indigenous communities.                                Peninsula region can request that their land be declared
                                                             an Indigenous community use area.
Who will be affected?                                        Land may be declared an Indigenous community use
                                                             area only if:
The Act will affect:
                                                             • the landholder has submitted in writing that the
• land trusts for Aboriginal land under the Aboriginal
                                                               declaration be made
  Land Act 1991 based in the Cape York Peninsula
  region                                                     • consultation has occurred between the Minister, the
                                                               Regional Advisory Committee and the Regional
• the Aurukun Shire Council
                                                               Scientific and Cultural Advisory Committee
• trustees under the Land Act 1994 of Deed of Grant in
                                                             • the land has the potential to support agricultural,
  Trust (DOGIT) land in the region.
                                                               animal husbandry, aquacultural or grazing activities,
                                                               while ensuring that the land use is ecologically
                                                               sustainable.




  9   311662 176226
Once an Indigenous community use area has been                   • that the land will be managed as a national park
declared, landholders can request to clear vegetation for          (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal land) in perpetuity
a special Indigenous purpose. Applications for
development must be accompanied by a property                    • how the land is proposed to be managed
development plan.                                                • the responsibilities of the Minister for Climate Change
                                                                   and Sustainability and the chief executive under the
Special Indigenous purpose                                         Nature Conservation Act 1992, in relation to the
A special Indigenous purpose can only occur on                     management of the land
Aboriginal land, Aurukun Shire lease land or DOGIT land          • the responsibilities of the grantees of the land in
in the Cape York Peninsula region.                                 relation to its management
For a development to be considered a special Indigenous          • how existing interests in the land will be managed and
purpose, the clearing must be:                                     how future interests in the land will be created and
• of a minor nature and not result in a significant impact         managed.
  on the environment
                                                                 Code for assessing applications
• for agriculture, grazing, animal husbandry or
  aquaculture.                                                   Applications for clearing for a special Indigenous purpose
                                                                 will be assessed against a special clearing code. DERM
A special Indigenous purpose application must:                   will consult with Indigenous land representatives and the
• propose development on Aboriginal land, Aurukun                Cape York Peninsula Regional Advisory Committee
                                                                 when developing the special clearing code.
  Shire lease land or DOGIT land in the Cape York
  Peninsula region
                                                                 How do I apply?
• propose development in an Indigenous community
                                                                 DERM is in the process of preparing information to assist
  use area
                                                                 applicants prepare property development plans.
• not involve the clearing of native vegetation in an
                                                                 Refer to the fact sheet Cape York Peninsula Heritage
  endangered or of concern regional ecosystem, for the
                                                                 Act—vegetation management framework for more
  purpose of planting a high risk species, or trees to           information on property development plans.
  make woodchips for export
                                                                 It is recommended that you discuss the proposed
• be accompanied by a property development plan that             clearing with a vegetation management officer before
  demonstrates the viability of the development and its          preparing your application.
  impact on the area.
                                                                 For more information
Indigenous management agreements
                                                                 The following fact sheets include information relating to
Indigenous management agreements are between the                 the Act:
state and traditional owners. Under the Act, an
agreement will enable a perpetual national park to               • Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act—vegetation
co-exist with Aboriginal land and allow for the joint              management framework
management of national park lands.                               • Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act—leasehold land
These agreements ensure public rights of access to a               management
national park and outline the responsibilities of parties        • Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act—advisory
regarding the management of the land.                              committees.
Agreement requirements                                           For more information on the Cape York Peninsula
                                                                 Heritage Act 2007 visit the DERM website at
An Indigenous management agreement about the                     <www.derm.qld.gov.au>.
management of land must include details of:
                                                                                                               August 2009
• a lot on plan description of the land                                                                               L157
• any interim arrangements for its management
• the process for developing a management plan
• areas of the land to which general public access may
  be restricted
• information about the management of any
  infrastructure on the land




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