Indigenous Australians and Dugongs in the Southern Great Barrier Reef: Legal Remedies
Abstractmammal, in Australian waters over the last decade, has prompted the Commonwealth and Queensland Governments to undertake a series of conservation measures. The measures are commendable on their environmental merits, but the conservation effort arguably diminishes the rights of coastal Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders, who have extensive interests in dugongs and their protection. Government recognition of these interests is gradually increasing, through the mediation of broader native title claims and the negotiation of agreements for collaborative management. The focus of this paper, however, is limited to conservation actions taken in the southern Great Barrier Reef, and whether selected domestic legal remedies can redress losses suffered by Indigenous peoples. This focus reflects the concerns of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations in Queensland, about denial of access to dugong, inadequate management of dugong and the human impacts which threaten populations, and possible discrimination regarding compensation.
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