Kooma People: Native Title Holders

Kooma People: Traditional Owners and Native Title Holders

On Wednesday 25 June 2014 at 11.00 am Justice Rangiah of the Federal Court of Australia marked the successful resolution of the Kooma People’s claim for native title with a consent determination hearing. A special sitting of the court was held on Kooma People’s country at Bollon.

This determination of native title was a formal recognition by the Federal Court of Australia, reached by consent of all parties, that the Kooma People hold native title rights and interests over what they have always known to be their traditional lands and waters.

It has been a long struggle for the Kooma People, however, the determination represents a very significant achievement because they were recognised as holding ‘exclusive’ possession over the lands of the Murra Murra and Bendee Downs Pastoral Stations. A determination recognising exclusive native title over the lands of these stations bestows the significance of the Kooma People being both native title holders and owners of these pastoral properties, previously held in trust on their behalf.

The Chief Executive Officer of Queensland South Native Title Services (QSNTS), Mr Kevin Smith said that the Kooma People have worked long, hard and very diligently to achieve this successful result.

“For the Kooma People exclusive possession of areas within these pastoral stations is a very significant achievement, particularly in this geographical area, opportunity for exclusive native title is scarce due to prior extinguishment acts”, he said.

”It also provides remarkable opportunities to create and provide their own economic opportunities”, Mr Smith said.

“For the Kooma People the final judgment being handed down on their own country is a very historic occasion. It shows their tenacity, dedication, and commitment to be recognised as the Traditional Owners of those lands and waters”, he said.

Brett Leavy, a member of the Kooma Applicant and also involved in the National Indigenous Radio Service, said that it is very significant that the Kooma People’s history with the land, their customs and traditions are embedded into history

“I would like to thank and congratulate everyone who has helped us through this journey, being recognised as the Traditional Owners of these lands and waters is an honour”, he said.

QSNTS would like to congratulate the Kooma People on their successful native title consent determination. 


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