$38m of funding for Cape York Tenure Resolution Program a victory for conservation and First Nations

The Queensland Conservation Council (QCC) celebrates today’s announcement by the Environment Minister that the State will provide an additional $38.5m in funding for Cape York Tenure Resolution Program.

Dave Copeman, Director at QCC said, “This is an essential and much needed renewal of the most successful partnership of conservationists and First Nations in Queensland's history. 

Today we join with Cape York Traditional Owners in celebrating this announcement, and the acknowledgement of past injustices and displacement that accompanied it. 

“This funding is a significant victory for expanding Queensland National Parks to protect some of our most precious, beautiful and culturally significant places. QCC and its members have been pressing the Queensland Government for some time, and we are delighted to see this result of our advocacy!”  

Successive Queensland Governments have returned nearly 4 million hectares (ha) of land on Cape York Peninsula to Aboriginal ownership under this flagship program. This includes more than 2 million ha of jointly-managed national parks and nearly 2 million ha of Aboriginal freehold. 

At the commencement of the program, the Queensland Government identified 23 properties as Priority Areas of interest. Only 6 of these have been acquired under the program so far. However, funding for the Cape York Tenure Resolution Program was set to end in July 2022, which would have left nearly 1 million ha of transferable land unresolved. 

“The findings of a report commissioned by QCC in 2021 determined that $50 million would be required to complete the program. So, the additional money from the State will be a significant boost to the program and its capacity to deliver state-held lands back to Traditional Owners,” Dave Copeman said. “We would welcome the Federal Government matching this investment, and would call on both the Federal Government and Labor opposition to pledge to match this funding." 


For further information and comment contact: 

Dave Copeman, Director, Queensland Conservation Council, 0408841595