On 25 July, the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) and GBK have executed a 3-year funding agreement, confirming GBK as the Native Title Service Provider (NTSP) for yumi region, the Endeavour and Torres Straits. This is the maximum funding period for representative bodies under the current funding arrangements.
Upon receiving the news, GBK Chairperson, Lui Ned David said “This is testament to yumi resolve and vision as the collective VOICE for Traditional Owners blo PLES. This is a mina great outcome yumi people and region. As the Chair of GBK, I am proud of how much the organisation has developed and achieved since the native title functions were transitioned from the Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) to us on 1 July 2022.”
For the next Financial Year of 2023-24, GBK has four key priorities:
- the finalisation of all active native title claims in GBK’s service region per court timetables;
- the variation of Part A of the Torres Strait Reginal Seas Claim determination of 2010 to include areas that were under claim but did not form part of the determination because insufficient evidence was provided to the Federal Court;
- preparing the ground for native title compensation claims including by finalising the Boundary Resolution Project – see our website for details about this project Native Title – Sea and Land in Torres Strait – GBK]; and
- supporting our PBCs to build their capacity further so that they can fulfil their responsibilities, conduct effective native title agreement-making and generate economic benefits and become self-sufficient bodies.
There are six active claims in GBK’s service region are the following:
- Torres Strait Regional Sea claim – Part B
- Torres Strait Regional Sea claim – Part C
- Kaurareg # 1 (sea), 2 (sea) and 3 (islands) claims
- Warral & Ului claim.
GBK’s funding for the coming three years matches the funding we received for GBK’s first year as NTSP – as is a recognition of our capacity to deliver services on behalf of Traditional Owners.
In a letter to staff and the region’s PBCs, Mr David thanked all staff for their hard work making GBK’s funding application a success.