Great Keppel Island (Wop-pa) Native Title Update

A second Native Title application has been made for an approx. 9.1029 sq km (9 lots and 1 part lot) on Great Keppel Island (Wop-pa), for what essentially covers the former (Tower Holdings) tourism leases including the old resort site, staff quarters, the bitumen runway and the former grazing lease which makes up the majority of the island. The news broke on Sat 22nd June by local newspaper CQToday on its front page; Court Bid Is A Woppa”, followed by the Sunday’s Mail’s front page article Island Native Title Fight”. Capricorn Enterprise has collated the following (see links) to assist our members and stakeholders with as much information as possible.

1991 – Expression of Interest (EOI) lodged for land acquisition on Great Keppel Island (Aboriginal Land Act 1991)

1993 – The Aboriginal flag is placed in the sand on Great Keppel Island (Wop-pa) by local Elder Bob Muir

March 2005 – EOI for land acquisition approved by the State Department of Natural Resources & Mines

16th February 2007 – State Minister Wallace MP directed deed of grant prepared over parts of GKI (5 lots) – transfer of land ceremony – read more HERE

6th November 2013 – Native Title application filed in the Federal Court

25th November 2014 – Amended Native Title application filed in the Federal Court

3rd December 2021 – Native Title declared – read the *Judgement HERE

13th May 2024 – Second Native Title application “Woppaburra People #2 v State Minister” filed with the Federal Court – read the extract HERE

Click HERE to view the 9 Lots and 1 Part Lot which have been applied for Native Title – 

Note: there is a 3 month notification period to mid August 2024 prior to being Registered in the Court

31st May 2024 – Woppaburra Communications Protocol issued – read HERE

The three Woppaburra bodies are the Woppaburra TUMRA Aboriginal Corporation (WTAC) , Woppaburra Saltwater Aboriginal Corporation (WSAC) the Native Title Prescribed Body Corporate NTPBC, and the Woppaburra Land Trust (WLT):

  • The TUMRA is primarily responsible for marine issues and other terrestrial issues that affect the marine environment. The boundaries of the TUMRA are shown at this link
  • WSAC is responsible for any Native Title issues and Cultural Heritage on Native title areas. *The Judgement 2021 outlines all exclusive and non-exclusive lands.
  • The WLT is responsible for development and any actions regarding freehold land blocks acquired through the Aboriginal Land Act, Qld (1991). *The blocks are outlined in the judgment also.

Capricorn Enterprise seeks to ensure the expeditious implementation of the Great Keppel Island (Woppa) Concept Master Plan launched on the 23rd April 2024 which will require the most appropriate non-exclusive land tenure to provide government and private investor confidence to commit to critical common user infrastructure and accommodation which also respects cultural, environmental and social values to realise a new era of sustainable tourism and investment on this magnificent island. 

Related stories:

Blog Navigation