Land returned to Maralinga Tjarutja and Pila Nguru peoples

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South Australian Premier MIKE RANN yesterday handed a 21,000 square kilometres un-named conservation park in the state’s west back to the Maralinga Tjarutja and Pila Nguru traditional owners. Premier RANN says the handback fulfils a promise he made as Aboriginal affairs minister in 1991. It’s the biggest tract of land returned since 1984, taking in parts of the Great Victoria Desert, the Nullarbor Plain, the Serpentine Lakes and various archaeological deposits. But as South Australian ATSIC Commissioner Klynton Wanganeen points out, it’s much more important for traditional owners to be able to roam freely across their homelands, maintaining the songlines and traditional customs.

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