Traditional owners in the iconic Kakadu National Park in Australia's Northern Territory are celebrating the formal handback of their ancestral lands. The World Heritage-listed park was established in the 1970s but only half of the region previously had been returned to its traditional custodians. The historic ceremony means most of the park is now in Aboriginal hands. The land will be leased back to the Director of National Parks, providing rental income for traditional owners. The campaign for formal recognition began in 1977 when a federal inquiry into the Ranger uranium mine recommended the Alligator Rivers region that covers Kakadu be declared as Aboriginal land. "Today's land grants to the Kakadu Aboriginal Land Trust, to be held on behalf of the traditional owners, completes 45 years of unfinished business," said Northern Land Council chairman Samuel Bush-Blanasi.

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