Sacred rock formation back in traditional owners' hands

A sacred rock formation southwest of Brisbane has been returned to traditional owners.

The Dhagun Yumba Aboriginal Corporation on Saturday took freehold title of the 26 hectares of land forming part of Whinpullin, also known as Minto Crag.

The ancient rock formation near the town of Boonah is known to some Indigenous Australians as a giant ancestral eel.

The Aboriginal corporation now holds the Whinpullin land as inalienable freehold, meaning it can't be bought, sold or mortgaged.

It will be held in perpetuity for the benefit of the Aboriginal people connected to the land.

"The land transfer is exciting for the corporation and the people it represents," the corporation's chair Lynda Maybanks said in a statement.

"It was the neighbours and the community group Friends of Whinpullin who really got the ball rolling and started the process that resulted in today's land handover."

Queensland Resources Minister Scott Stewart said the state government was committed to protecting and preserving Indigenous culture, values and traditions.

"We are blessed in this country to be home to the longest, continuing cultures in history," he said in a statement.

"The cultures and histories of our First Nations peoples are unique. That's why it is important to work with traditional owners to help keep sacred sites protected."

Since 2015, more than one million hectares of land has been returned to traditional owners by the Queensland resources department.

About 38,000 hectares was returned in 2022 alone, including more than 20,000 hectares of Gulf Savannah Country to the Gangalidda and Garawa people.