Western Cape Communities Plans For The Future Following Land Signing

Western Cape Communities Plans For The Future Following Land Signing

Queensland Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt

Queensland Minister for Ports Mark Bailey

Land Sale Boosts Tourism Prospects For Western Cape Communities

Victor P Taffa

Treasurer and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Curtis Pitt and Ports Minister Mark Bailey have approved the sale of land in Weipa owned by North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) Corporation to the Western Cape Communities Trust (WCCT), enabling them to expand on cultural opportunities in the state’s remote north.

Treasurer Pitt signed the land deeds in Cairns today with

  • NQBP acting Chief Executive Officer Jeff Stewart-Harris,
  • Western Cape Communities Trust Chair Loyla Chevathen,
  • WCCT Executive Officer Geoffrey Fahey,
  • Rio Tinto General Manager Weipa Operations Gareth Manderson.

“The sale of redundant port land at Weipa by North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) will help the Western Cape Communities Trust lay the foundations for expanded cultural and tourism opportunities.” Treasurer Pitt said.

“The almost 3 ha parcel sold is part of the Port of Weipa precinct but has housed the traditional owners’ Cultural Centre and a former Cape York Land Council administrative centre for many years.”

“I would also like to acknowledge Rio Tinto for supporting this process by relinquishing a lease over the area.” Treasurer Pitt said.

Minister Bailey said the land is located in the area described as Evans Landing, but known by traditional owners as Achimbun.

“From the start some 18 months ago, the sale process has progressed methodically, assisted in no small measure by the good faith brought to the table by all parties involved.” Minister Bailey said.

“In consultation with local stakeholders, NQBP will seek to re-invest back into the local Weipa community to ensure ongoing safe and efficient port operations.”

Mr. Stewart-Harris said the parties had negotiated a commercial and confidential sale price for the land to help drive future opportunities.

“The sale of this land is a landmark moment for traditional owners and I congratulate the Trust members for their foresight and confidence in the future for Weipa and Western Cape communities.” Mr. Stewart-Harris said.

“NQBP is excited about the prospect of seeing this land’s potential brought to fruition for the benefit of local communities.”

“A win-win outcome has been achieved, particularly as Cape York’s appeal as an exciting tourism experience is attracting more and more domestic and international attention.”

 

QLD Minister for Ports Mark Bailey

QLD Minister for Ports Mark Bailey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chairperson of the Western Cape Community Trust Loyla Chevathen said it the agreement represented a significant opportunity.

“Achimbun is a very special area, it is the where the WCCCA was signed and also the location of our future Administration and Cultural Precinct which has been a major aspiration of Western Cape Traditional Owners for a long time.” Ms. Chevathen said.

Also at today’s signing, Western Cape Community Trust executive officer Geoffrey Fahey said the land sale was cause for optimism.

“We now have the opportunity to build a cultural precinct in Weipa for the benefit of the whole community that will support additional tourism for Weipa but most importantly tell the story of Western Cape Traditional owners for generations to come.” Mr. Fahey said.

Rio Tinto provided formal support to the sale by relinquishing leasehold interests over the land to allow the transaction to proceed.