Victoria has signed the largest native title claim in the state’s history, recognising the Taungurung as traditional owners in across large sections of northern and north eastern Victoria and awarding a settlement of more than $33m. The agreement covers sections of the high country and Alpine National Park, including Mt Buller, Mt Cobbler and the Buffalo Plateau.

Calla Wahlquist, writing in The Guardian, says:

“The agreement was signed between the Taungurung Clans Aboriginal Corporation (TCAC) and the Victorian government on Friday, following a 15-year campaign by traditional owners and three years of settlement negotiations.

The settlement area stretches from the Campaspe river, between Rochester and Kyneton, in the west and the Ovens river near Harrietville in the east. It covers 11% of the state’s landmass.

Under the agreement, the 3,000 Taungurung people will have access to crown land for hunting, fishing, camping and gathering natural resources.

It also transfers the management of nine parks and reserves to Taungurung people as Aboriginal title, meaning they will be jointly managed by the state and traditional owners. They include areas of the Alpine national park as well as the Buffalo and Lake Eildon national parks.

The settlement was negotiated under Victorian legislation established in 2010 to allow traditional owners to negotiate native title by settlement.”

A small number of areas in the claim are still being negotiated with other traditional owner groups. The recent agreement between Gunaikurnai and Taungurung has clarified the boundaries of most of their adjoining areas. In general terms in this part of the Alps, Gunaikurnai country is in the catchments south of the Great Dividing Range while Taungurung country is on the north side of the divide.

The map used here comes from the Victorian government. See the link for full details.