More positive news. Murray Silby, the media officer with the Central Land
Council, forwarded me the following article. It will run in the next edition of
the Land Rights News, a newspaper published by the Northern Land Council. It
was Written after going in on the first tour and speaking with the visitors on
the tour and the traditional owner Douglas Multa.
The CLC also indicated that the key point to remember is that the tours are a
trial and will be reviewed at their conclusion. If anyone would like to contact
his email is
Magical, terrific and fantastic, just some of the words used by bird watchers
to describe their experience visiting Aboriginal land with traditional owners
to see the rare Princess Parrot. Trial tours were organised in November by the
Central Land Council for traditional owners after an influx of bird watchers
entered the Haasts Bluff Aboriginal Land Trust without permits earlier this
year when the parrot was discovered in the area. The illegal entries threatened
to damage sacred sites, fragile flora and fauna and to spread weeds. At the
time of the tours, deep wheel marks could still be seen in the area where
people had driven four wheel drives across country in search of the birds.
Despite the illegal access and in response to the demand from birders,
traditional owners decided to offer guided tours for groups of between five and
12 people over a period of two weeks. Traditional owner Douglas Multa, who led
the tours, said it hurt him when people didn’t ask permission to visit his
country."When somebody does things like that it’s hurting my feelings and ruins
the countryside,"he said. "Happy to (take people) when they want to come along
with me. Take them in there and bring them out again. We've got cultural sites
there, dreaming and all that, it’s really important for me."
Nigel and Anne Harland from Castlemaine in Victoria were in the first tour
group to go in search of the Princess Parrots. "It was so exciting, especially
to see it so quickly," Mrs Harland said. "To get out of the vehicle and to have
a few flying around is just a big thrill. I think too what’s very special with
this is to be here in this beautiful timeless land with the traditional owners.
I mean that’s a very powerful experience for me." Mr Harland said it was one of
the best days of his life. "I’ve been watching birds in Australia for 35 years
and I’d given up any hope of seeing a Princess Parrot so to come here and see
them where you said they’d be so quickly, it was just a magical experience."
Another of the group, Dougald Frederick, from Albury-Wodonga on the New South
Wales-Victorian border described the experience as fantastic."Today I guess, we
had no real expectations how today was going to pan out and I guess coming here
and just letting it all happen was all part of the experience really and to be
with the traditional owners, to have shown us around today just added another
dimension to the whole trip and I really enjoyed having a chat to the local
people and getting their views on the world," Mr Frederick said. "It’s been
fantastic. I’ve been fortunate the last year or so to visit some really good
birding spots, some fantastic birding spots and I have to say this morning’s
been right up there, no doubt about it."
Mr Multa said he’s hopeful the trial tours will become something more regular
that younger members of his family can get involved in. "It’s a good idea I
think,” he said. “If we keep on doing it, maybe next year, (it’ll be) a bit
bigger than what we did this morning."
This email, including any attachment, is intended solely for the use of the
intended recipient. It is confidential and may contain personal information or
be subject to legal professional privilege. If you are not the intended
recipient any use, disclosure, reproduction or storage of it is unauthorised.
If you have received this email in error, please advise the sender via return
email and delete it from your system immediately. Victoria University does not
warrant that this email is free from viruses or defects and accepts no
liability for any damage caused by such viruses or defects.
To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)