Legislation has been introduced to Queensland Parliament to pave the way for private land ownership in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Land in Queensland’s 34 Indigenous communities can only be held collectively, so private ownership cannot be granted.
Premier Campbell Newman says the bill will give those communities the chance to change that.
“This is a right that has been denied them,” he said.
“A right that is extended to all other citizens of Queensland.”
The decision to transfer land to private ownership will be left to individual communities.
Lockhart River Mayor Wayne Butcher says it is a great opportunity for his Cape York community and for Indigenous people across the state.
“There’s been considerable amount of movements in the community towards home ownership,” he said.
Mr Newman says it could also make land available for business development, including in tourism and agriculture.