Land grant to Indigenous Tasmanians celebrated

23 Nov 2015

Murrayfield Station on Bruny Island off the South East coast of Tasmania has been granted to weetapoona Aboriginal Corporation.

Murrayfield was acquired by the ILC in 2001 and is a significant property in the Indigenous estate. It combines a rich traditional presence, wonderful environmental values and a first class commercial sheep enterprise, producing 40,000 kilos of fine wool and 2,000 prime lambs a year.

The ILC acquired Murrayfield Station for its great cultural significance. Access to land on Bruny Island was denied to Aboriginal people and a major land acquisition like Murrayfield has allowed Tasmanian Aboriginal people a place to re-establish cultural traditions, hold social activities, and pursue economic opportunities.

Since 2008, the Murrayfield has provided access to over 2,000 Aboriginal visitors to hold over 100 cultural events, hosted training programs in agriculture and land management, with 58 Indigenous people completing accredited training. The property caters to school and university groups, various interest and tourist groups – with 2,000 visitors each year.

Murrayfield now protects almost 300 Aboriginal heritage sites, is a crucial habitat for endangered animal species, including the swift parrot, forty-spotted pardalote, and eastern quoll.

In conjunction with weetapoona, the ILC has managed Murrayfield for 14 years and developed a successful agricultural business. Under the terms of the decision to grant, weetapoona will increase its involvement in the pastoral business and gain further exposure to its operations.

The large number of land grants in the 20th anniversary year represented a significant landmark in assisting Indigenous groups to achieve land ownership and helping to grow the Indigenous estate in Australia.

The ILC has now granted to Indigenous groups more than 75% of the 251 properties it has acquired in its 20-year history.

The land grants are helping local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations across the country to derive a host of land-based benefits in remote, regional and urban Australia.

This includes things like developing an economic base for future generations, looking after culturally and environmentally significant country, expanding or securing the delivery of much needed Indigenous services as well as providing training and real jobs.

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