/ 28 June 2021

Jabiru handover a ‘monumental moment’

Jabiru, the main township in Kakadu National Park, has been returned to its traditional owners after a long fight. The subject of one of Australia’s longest-running native title fights, the town was built in 1982 to support the nearby Ranger uranium mine. The mine, which operated until 2009, was controversial and put Kakadu’s World Heritage status under threat of being put on the ‘in danger’ list. Which sounds familiar for some reason… “This land was left to us by our ancestors and now it comes back to us again. This is a happy day for us. We have very good feelings about today,” said senior Mirarr traditional owner Yvonne Margarula at Saturday’s ceremony. Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt said the handover was “a monumental moment in the history of land rights in this country”. The plan is to turn the town into a world-class tourism destination.

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