Girramay #2 Native Title Consent Determination

August 01, 2018 at 10:00 AM

The Girramay #2 (Murray Falls) native title application was filed with the Federal Court of Australia on 21 August 2015.  It was then registered with the National Native Title Tribunal on 3 November 2015 and notification ran from 30 December 2015 to 29 March 2016.  

The State of Queensland entered into substantive negotiations in 2016 and the native title application progressed smoothly to consent determination on 1 August 2018.  The claim area covers approximately 1250 square kilometres, taking in the Murray Falls and Jumbun community.   

The consent determination took place on 1 August at Cardwell.  The Federal Court of Australia hearing was presided over by His Honour Justice Rangiah.  At the conclusion of the hearing His Honour presented the Applicants, Mr Claude Beeron and Mr Abraham Muriata with a copy of the Consent Determination booklet.  Senior Girramay members Miss Marcia Jerry, Mr Neil Leo and Mr Samuel Muriata also received a copy of the booklet.

The Federal Court formally recognised exclusive native title over approximately 1200ha and non-exclusive native title rights and interests over about 94,700 ha of land around Cardwell, along the coast up to Tully Heads.

Girramay Elder Abraham Muriata said the determination formally recognised his people’s native title rights and interests in accordance with traditional laws and customs.  “The land and its waters have shaped our innate cultural values and have been of great significance to the Girramay people and recognises we are the rightful and traditional owners – and traditional custodians of this land”. Mr Muriata also said the land had been historically used as a primary food source where families had managed flora and fauna. “In modern times, we are treating this land in the same regard as our ancestors did – hunting, fishing and gathering, holding meetings and teaching younger generations about their country and the need to maintain places of importance and significance”.

After the formalities of the hearing were concluded, the Girramay people and their guests moved to the football oval next door and the celebrations commenced.  Mr Abraham Muriata, a well known Girramay artist presented His Honour Justice Rangiah with a traditional fighting sword.  There followed speeches from various dignitaries and Girramay people and then lunch.  The day was capped off with Abraham Muriata and Claude Beeron cutting the cake which bore the image of Murray Falls.

I would like to thank the Applicants Mr Claude Beeron and Mr Abraham Muriata, and also Miss Marcia Jerry and Mr Neil Leo for their assistance.

As always it was a team effort on behalf of NQLC, so thank you to Kara Dunn (in house anthropologist), Lotu Kimiia and Marty Darr project officers and Laura Burton, legal administration.


Legal Officer, Townsville Office