Ceremony Marks Commencement Of Native Title Settlement

Attorney-General Martin Pakula attended a commencement ceremony today in the Cathedral Range State Park to mark the start of native title negotiations with the Taungurung people.

The Victorian Government and Taungurung traditional owner group have begun working together to seek an agreement under the Traditional Owner Settlement Act 2010 that recognises the Taungurung people’s rights and interests over Crown land in parts of central Victoria.

These negotiations will provide recognition of the Taungurung people’s right to access, own and manage public land as well as their rights to use and develop natural resources.

The negotiations include discussing how the Taungurung can undertake economic development and create a strong foundation for ongoing employment and financial sustainability.

The Traditional Owner Settlement Act is the only state legislation of its kind in Australia and is an alternative to the Native Title Act 1993 for recognising the rights of Victorian traditional owners.

The Andrews Labor Government is committed to supporting Aboriginal Victorians to pursue self-determination and design solutions to the cultural, economic and social challenges they face.

Quotes attributable to Attorney-General, Martin Pakula

“These negotiations aim to achieve formal recognition of the Taungurung people’s traditional and cultural associations with their land while providing them with the resources to determine their own future.”

“Choosing to seek recognition of their traditional owner rights through an Act of the Victorian Parliament, rather than through the Federal Court, shows the Taungurung people’s confidence in their ability to speak directly with the State as partners in their own future.”

“A vibrant Aboriginal culture is linked to better outcomes in education, justice, health and wellbeing for traditional owners. By seeking this settlement we are helping to reinforce the Taungurung culture.”