Too VIP To be Overlooked: ILUAs as Protected Area Joint Management, Compared to Everything Else

Tuesday, 3 June 2014
Joann Schmider

Joint management occurs in both formal and informal ways and articulates relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous structures as to how to look after country. Invariably native tile claimants and holders see sole or joint management of country as both custodial responsibility and right, and seek to negotiate this through their local area ILUAs, complemented by other agreements, IPAs and/or state legislation. Yet the content and quality of these agreements and provisions varies significantly throughout the nation.

The federal Indigenous NRM system seems to skew to IPA country, which funding and the ranger program that goes hand in hand with it are fully subscribed, seemingly locked in with existing funding arrangements for years. For those many native title holder groups across the nation who can’t get access to an IPA and WoC program for their country, the protected area and related native title ILUAs and other agreements system is key to joint management: too VIP to be overlooked. It’s rarely the case however, that ILUAs include measures for implementation; they can become meaningless toothless tigers despite the native title negotiation effort and resources that went into the agreement/s.

In Far North Queensland we’ve got over half the lucrative, $2 billion per year Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, country of 4 language families, 10 tribal groups, who are inequitably precluded from contributing to and accessing the joint management benefits that come with IPAs.

How can ILUAs better trigger the same nature of joint management?

This session seeks to highlight what’s required to truly recognise the joint management potential of protected area ILUAs. The panel will explore examples of protected area ILUAs in the Wet Tropics of Queensland and joint management ILUAs in Victoria, and ask participants their view on the potential of protected area ILUAs.