Dunghutti get $6.1m in settlement
THE Dunghutti People have received $6.1 million in compensation for land at Crescent Head after a long running 1997 ruling which recognised Native Title.
The Federal Court ruling is the first successful Native Title claim on the mainland and stands in historical significance next to the 1992 Mabo decision.
Minister for Lands Tony Kelly said the agreement acknowledges the Dunghutti People as the traditional land owners, while allowing for future development.
The land has been earmarked as a future residential site.
“This will increase the population of the area and job opportunities for the residents of Crescent Head, including the Dunghutti People,” Mr Kelly said.
The money has been paid to the Dunghutti Elders Council which is the registered body corporate for the Dunghutti People.
“The agreement demonstrates the co-operative manner of all parties to resolve Native Title claims without extensive litigation,” Mr Kelly added.
Dunghutti elder, Mary-Lou Buck, was the native title claimant on behalf of the Dunghutti People, and said the compensation is the result of a 14-year effort and is a relief to her people.
“It means that we were actually recognised, that we existed before white settlement,” she said.