Princess Parrot

To: "" <>
Subject: Princess Parrot
From: Tim Dolby <>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2010 22:49:17 +0000
Hi all,

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 


Tim Dolby

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."

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