Council seeks clarity on extent of native title on public lots

Redland City Council is seeking clarity from the Federal Court regarding whether native title has been extinguished on Council-owned or managed land that is related to the current Quandamooka Coast Native Title Claim.

The claim, registered in 2017 and not yet determined, covers around 530 square kilometres including the bulk of the Redland City mainland local government area and Macleay, Karragarra, Coochiemudlo, and Lamb Islands in southern Moreton Bay.

A Council spokesperson said that while native title did not normally include land in private or public freehold ownership, such as houses and businesses, Council was seeking clarity from the Federal Court about whether native title had been extinguished on Council-owned or managed sites, including key parks, reserves, infrastructure and foreshores.

“We have been working through procedures established over the past 30 years to help facilitate the claim process by identifying the extent to which native title may exist over the public lots within the Quandamooka Coast Claim area,” the spokesperson said.

“Council absolutely acknowledges and respects the Native Title interests and aspirations of the Quandamooka people.

“Our efforts to clarify the status of the land is in no way seeking to stand in the way of the Native Title interests.

“Having clarity over the history of the lots of land – and whether that extinguishes native title or not – will ensure there are no legacy issues down the track.”

Details of the Council-owned and managed land relating to the Quandamooka Coast Native Title Claim, have been lodged by Redland City Council with the Federal Court.

The properties are listed in schedules prepared by Council following research that aims to document the status of native title over land through evidence of previous exclusive possession acts that are either public works or previous grants of tenure.

The Council spokesperson said: “Approximately 3500 Council-owned or managed properties are included in the current native title claim area, with the State Government advising that native title had been extinguished on approximately 1000 of those properties.

“That leaves about 2500 Council-owned or managed sites where Council is seeking to determine whether native title has been extinguished or not.

“Of these there are around 80 in particular that we are looking for clarity on whether or not public works at the sites or prior tenure extinguishes native title. These include Wellington Point, Cleveland Point and Victoria Point.

“There are also 147 areas of interest that Council manages such as foreshores, creeks and canals where we are also seeking clarity on native title status.

“Over the past year, Council has made a number of submissions to the State Government and Native Title Applicant about many properties where Council’s research indicates that native title has been extinguished due to the previous tenure of the sites and/or prior public works, such as the building of roads, playgrounds, shelters and other buildings.

Native title rights were determined on Minjerribah/North Stradbroke Island in Redland City in 2011.

Council is seeking clarity on extent of native title on public lots