The Australian Conservation Foundation today congratulated the Wuthathi people, Traditional Owners of Shelburne Bay, on their historic win in securing Native Title recognition of country.
“ACF has stood with the Wuthathi people for more than 30 years as they have fought to protect their country in northern Cape York from sand mining and for the land to be returned to their ownership,” said ACF CEO Kelly O’Shanassy.
“This magnificent part of Australia has a long backstory leading to this historic day. During the 1980s, ACF and other conservation organisations supported the Wuthathi in preventing a sand mine on some of the most significant areas of Shelburne.
“The white dunes of Shelburne Bay are internationally renowned for their geological significance and the surrounding landscape is rich in wetlands, heathlands rainforests and woodlands. Shelburne Bay is the last pristine, unmined landscape of its kind in Australia.”
“ACF recognises the important role the Wuthathi have played in shaping the future of Cape York Peninsula. Their contribution to the history of conservation in the region through the championing and celebration of Shelburne’s iconic dunes helped to bring Cape York to life for all Australians.
“ACF will work with the Queensland Government to ensure it fulfils its commitment to return the former Shelburne pastoral lease to Wuthathi ownership and that the Wuthathi people’s major focus on the conservation of Shelburne Bay’s iconic sand dunes is honoured,” Ms O’Shanassy said.