In 1994, Cape York Land Council lodged one of the largest single regional claims in Australia.
The size of the claim has also meant that traditional owners by working together have greatly increased their bargaining power for small and large projects within their country.
A $260M upgrade proposal for part of the Peninsula Developmental Road through Cape York provided an opportunity for traditional owners to flex their combined muscle. Eventually, traditional owners were successful in negotiating a comprehensive infrastructure agreement which provides for unparalleled and guaranteed opportunities for Indigenous contractors to bid for significant contracts in road building projects far in excess of the norm – in addition to jobs, training, scholarship, cultural heritage works, etc.
Both presenters will discuss the way forward for incorporating such principles into a comprehensive regional agreement and the principle of regional treaties.