A North Queensland court will today recognise the Widi people’s ancestral connection to a quarter-of-a-million hectares in the Isaac region.
At a special hearing on-country at Nebo this morning, the Federal Court will formally recognise the Widi people’s native title and interests iver 249,766 hectares of land and waters, west of Mackay.
Assistant Minister for State Development Julieanne Gilbert said today’s determination recognised the Widi people’s ancestral connection to their country and further strengthened the Widi people’s culture and language for the next generation.
It follows the Widi people’s joint determination with Barada Barna people in 2016 over almost 60,000 hectares of land north-west of Rockhampton.
“Their rights are now further protected to hunt, fish, gather, meet, hold ceremonies and pass on dreaming stories, bush lore, dance and song, right from home,” she said.
Widi and Birri Gubba Elder Graham ‘Cookie’ Sauney said the core country claim meant the Widi people could produce economic development, sustainability and equity for the future of their people.
“It will give the Widi people an opportunity to continue with developing our Widi and Birri Gubba language that is not lost,” he said.
“We must also continue to care for country, protect our rights and interests, look after the needs of the local community and find ways how we can all live together.”
The area stretches roughly from Mount Crompton in the north, south to Nebo and west to Glenden and includes part of Eungella National Park.