A major native title deal has been agreed by the NSW Government giving the Githabul people joint control of 19 national parks and state forests in Northern New England.
This forms part of the biggest native title settlement struck on the eastern seaboard in terms of area and includes many picturesque NSW parks and the World-Heritage listed Border Ranges and Toonumbar national parks.
The Githabul's traditional territory covers more than 6,000 square km straddling the New England and Queensland borders around Mt Lindsay. The Queensland Government has opposed the claim and is not covered by the agreement.
I had some difficulty in working out the Githabul's exact territory simply because the on-line records are variable with multiple spellings for same language groups. AITSIS (IdE.14) records the language as Gidabal with the following alternative spellings: a-bool Giabal Gidabul Gidjoobal Gitabal Gomaingguru Kidabal Kidjabal Kit Kitabal Kitabool Kitapul Kitchebal Kittabool Kuttabal Kuttibal Kuttibul Noowidal Paiamba Kitabul Kuthabal.
I also have a problem because I am not sure of the relationships/territory/overlaps between the Githabul, Badjalang (AITSIS Id.E12: I have always said Bandjalong) and Gumbainggirr AITSIS Id.E07). As best I can work out:
- The Badjalang are recorded at the following localities: Ballina; Baryugil; Clarence River; Coraki; Moonim; Rappville; Richmond River; Tabulam; Evans Head.
- The Githabul are recorded at the following locations: Clarence River; Drake; Killarney; Logan River; Rathdowney; Richmond River; Spicer Gap; Tabulam; Tooloom; Unumgar; Urbenville; Woodenbong.
- The Gumbainggirr lie to the south of the Badjalang and are recorded at the following locations: Bellingen; Coff Harbour; Glenreagh; Nambucca Heads; Nymboida River; One Tree Point; South Grafton; Urunga; Woolgoola.
I will provide more on this story once I get more details.